March 20, 2010

The Cancer Community Center Wine Tasting

Good Wine for a Good Cause!

Monday, March 29th, 2010 is the date! This series of a wine tasting and several wine dinners may go down as the biggest wine spectacle ever in Maine.

SOPO (South Portland Wine Company) and RiRa are hosting a wine tasting at RiRa Irish Pub in Portland. All proceeds go to The Cancer Community Center.

Wine Tasting
Monday, March 29th
5:30 - 7:30pm
RiRa Irish Pub
72 Commercial Street, Portland

Meet over 20 different winemakers, owners and importers, try their wines and help raise some money! There will be approximately 100 wines at the event - spitting is encouraged! (I carry a plastic cup to tastings such as this to help).

Tickets are $30 at the door and $25 in advance (I have tickets in my store). Freeport Cheese & Wine will donate 10% of any wines you purchase as a result of this tasting to The Cancer Community Center.

That night, several wine dinners are also happening in Portland (3 dinners) and Saco (1 dinner).

Wine Dinners

Cinque Terre Wine Dinner featuring...Maggarino and Giovanni Scagliola of Scagliola and Giuseppe Nicolis of Nicolis. Scagliola is in Piedmont and Nicolis is from Valpolicella. These are the owner/winemakers from both properties. Cinque Terre, Wharf Street, Portland. Monday, March 29th, 7:00pm

Bibo's Madd Apple Café Wine Dinner with Anne-Maryse Lopez of Chilensis and Oveja Negra and some great Chilean Wines. Forest Avenue, Portland. Monday, March 29th, 6:00pm Bar Lola Wine Dinner featuring the wines from Victor Abascal of Vines on the Marycrest (California) and Ratero Gantier of Domaine St. Eugenie (Southern France). 100 Congress Street, Portland. Monday, March 29th, 6:30pm

Mia's at Pepperell Square Wine Dinner featuring Marco Mazzarrini of Poggio Amorelli (Chianti) and Rodolfo Cantarutti of Cantarutti Winery (NE Italy). Saco, Monday, March 29th, 6:30pm

Late Night Dessert at Vignola with the winemakers. Portland, Monday, March 29th. C

Cleonice Greek Wine Dinner featuring wines from Athenee Imports. Sunday, March 28th, 7 pm, Ellsworth.

That's the day!

Remember, I have tickets in my store.

20/40 Charity Wine Tasting

20/40 Charity Wine Tasting

Taste 20 premium wines of Spain and Portugal for $40 and raise money for Good Causes.

Money raised goes to The Compass Project.

The Compass Project mission is to use boatbuilding and rowing to provide positive direction to youth, encouraging the development of personal and community responsibility.

Presented by 5 of my favorite distributors: Crush, Davine, Devenish, Easterly and SOPO. These are 5 of the companies that are helping bring many of the special wines you are finding in Maine.

Freeport Cheese & Wine will donate 10% of any wines you purchase as a result of this tasting to The Compass Project.

Hosted by The Salt Exchange in Portland. Commercial Street. 3:00-6:00 PM (you don’t have to be there the entire time). Attendance is limited to 70 people to prevent it from being too crowded.

The Salt Exchange
Commercial Street, Portland.
3:00-6:00 PM
Sunday, March 20th

The Wines (some of them)


  • Broadbent Vinho Verde (Portugal)
  • Casa Ferreirinha, Douro "Vinha Grande" 2002 (Portugal)
  • Quinta do Crasto Douro 2007 (Portugal)
  • Quinta do Crasto Douro Reserva Old Vines 2007 (Portugal)

Davine Wine

  • Morgadio Albariñio 2008 (Spain), 90 points, Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
  • Pasanau ‘Ceps Nous’ Priorat 2007, 91points, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
  • El Vinculo La Mancha 2004 (Spain)
  • Lorinon Reserva Rioja Alta 2004 (Spain)


  • Bodegas Las Orcas Decenio Jove Rioja 2008 (Spain)
  • Lo Brujo Macabeo 2009 (Spain)
  • Lo Brujo Garnacha 2008 (Spain)
  • Odysseus Tinto Priorat 2002 (Spain)


  • Ameztoi Txakolina (Spain)
  • Lovivalo Joven Toro 2007 (Spain)
  • Hermanos Sastre "Roble" Ribera del Duero 2007
  • Bodegas Ostatu Rioja 2006
  • Ned may also have a couple of amazing Priorats at his table as “bonuses”


  • I don’t have their wines on this list – they’ll be good!

March 18, 2010

March 2010 Wine Tasting

Freeport Cheese & Wine
Wine & Cheese Tasting!
Friday, March 19th
The Sparkling

Henry Varnay Blanc de Blancs Brut NV (France) $11.99
- What do you not know at this point. It’s Chenin Blanc made sparkling traditionally. It’s got some nice appley and bread qualities, smooth, and a rich slightly creamy finish. It’s clean and a perfect sparkler for cocktails like Bellinis and Mimosas. The Whites:

Chateau Bonhoste Bordeaux Blanc Sec 2009 (France) Reg. $14.99, Sale $13.99 - This is a FABULOUS wine! Made by the Fournier family; this is a traditional white Bordeaux blend of Semillon (55%), Sauvignon Blanc (40%), and a touch of Muscadelle (5%). It is a perfectly formed blend of these components; showing lushness and body from the Semillon, acidity and crispness from the Sauv. Blanc, and rich aromatics from the Muscadelle. Dry and focused. Aromas of pineapples, freshly mown grass & green bananas. Nice minerality. Nicely balanced acidity and fruit. It’s a blend of Semillon (55 percent), Sauvignon Blanc (40 percent), and Muscadelle (5 percent). Organic farming. Food pairing - Goes great with lighter poultry and seafood dishes. Drinks real well on its own!

Jean Paul Paquet St. Veran 2008 (France) $24.99 - This is classic Mâcon White Burgundy. It has a rich mouth feel and texture. It’s certainly ripe; but, it also has a clean acidity to balance that ripe fruit. Underneath that fruit and acidity is a perfectly proportional hint of Burgundy earthiness. Just a slight quality of earth and wet rocks.
The Reds:
Famille Laurent Saint Pourçain 2007 Tradition (Pinot Noir/Gamay) $14.99 - This unusual blend comes from the St. Pourcain area just southwest of Beaujolais and Burgundy. The grapes are farmed and fermented by the Laurent family which has worked this land for nearly 100 years. The wine is bright and has beautiful berry qualities with a slightly darker undertone from the Pinot Noir.
Seigneurs de Peyreviel Côtes de Millau 2006 (France) Reg. $12.99, Sale $11.99 - 11 famers co-operatively farm 90 acres here in southwestern France. The clay, limestone vineyards produce Cabernet, Gamay, Syrah, and Fer Severadou. This wine has nice ripe berry qualities, followed by some nice fresh acidity and a soft finish. The Syrah also gives it substantial black pepper.
Domaine du Jas (Organic) Côtes du Rhône 2008 Prestige $14.99 - A large proportion of Syrah in this wine gives it more heft and spice than the average Côtes du Rhône. This is a fuller bodied wine with some black pepper and tannin that is equally at home with pork tenderloin, roast chicken, and a rich stew. Plus, it’s certified Organic!
Domaine de Bel Air (Organic) Bourgueil 2003 (France) $15.99 - And last up is this Bourgueil. Bourgeil is from the central Loire River Valley and is one of the most sought after Cabernet Francs in the world, along with its neighbor Chinon. This happens to come from the 2003 vintage, which was ungodly hot. The extreme heat wreaked havoc some places, but here it resulted in a wine that’s just a bit fuller, denser, and fully developed. It has the spicy pepper and dust that is typical of Cabernet Franc. The mid palate has some black pepper, but, great richness too. This really fills the mouth and then has a lingering, but not too tannic finish. It’s a good wine in its own right, but also a great beginner Cabernet Franc because it has that extra richness.

Davine’s Wines

The Whites:

Peñalolén Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Chile) $12.99
– This is a crisp, clean delicious Sauv. Blanc. Aromas of oranges and lemons. This also has flavors of tropical fruit, ginger and citrus. Brisk, crisp acidity and a clean finish. Refreshing. 100% Sauvignon Blanc aged and fermented in stainless steel.

Apaltaqua Reserve Chardonnay 2008 (Chile) $12.99 – This is a wonderful Chardonnay that is neither Napa Valley nor is it Burgundy. This winery is probably Chile’s pioneer when it comes to biodynamic farming. Aromas and flavors of peaches, grapefruit and tropical fruit. This is crisp, juicy and refreshing. The finish is long and clean.

The Reds:

Peñalolén Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Chile) $17.99
– Delicious wine! This has a smooth, soft texture. Aromas and flavors of violets, baking spices and berries. Blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Aged in French oak for 12 months. Will drink well through 2014. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points

Pargua II 2006 (Chile) $21.99
- The 2006 Pargua II is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenère, 15% Syrah, and the balance Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Also produced from organically grown grapes, the wine has softer fruit and is riper, richer and more concentrated than its more expensive sibling, Domus Aurea. Aromas and flavors of wild berries and baking spices. Already complex, with another 3-4 years in the bottle to blossom, it will provide exceptional drinking between 2013 and 2026. Food pairing – grilled meats, spicy sauces, Mediterranean dishes. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Viña Maquis Calcu 2006 (Chile) $13.99
- This is delicious! Big hit at a tasting! Tasty little blend! Nice minerals, ripe tannins, baking spices, red fruit, and subtle oak in the flavors and aromas. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (15%) & Carménère (25%) blend. In the local "Mapuche" language, "Calcu" means "healing doctor" or "magician." Indeed, the winemakers have created another magical "Super Chilean!" Food pairing - pasta, grilled meats, mushroom dishes, etc. Drinks well without food. Wine Enthusiast, “Best Buy;” Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, “Excellent Value”

Viña Maquis Lien 2006 (Chile) $17.99 - Delicious! Rich, lush wine! Aromas and flavors of mocha, toast, ripe plums, blackberries & blueberries. Fleshy, ripe and rich. Hints of loamy earth. Not too tannic. Low-yield vines. All of the grapes are hand-sorted at the winery. 42% Syrah, 30% Carmenère, 9% Petit Verdot, 12% Cabernet Franc & 7% Malbec. Barrel aged for 12 months in French oak. Food pairing - grilled meats, steak, etc. Pasta dishes. Drinks well without food. Michael Franz, Wine Review Online, 91 points, “Wine of the Year; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90 points

March 15, 2010

Food and Wine Tasting at "The Prep Kitchen!"

Food & WineTasting!
Tuesday, March 16th
@ The Prep Kitchen
491 U.S. 1

(this is South of Freeport Cheese & Wine; it's 4/10's of a mile SOUTH of the traffic light at Exit 20; it's on the left side of the road)

Featuring food from The Prep Kitchen in Freeport. The Prep Kitchen is a locally owned business in Freeport. You may purchase delicious prepared foods there - or, come in, use their easy-to-follow recipes in their professional kitchen and prepare your own meals. They also have "grab and go" meals that are great for lunch or a quick supper!

This tasting is FREE and offers the opportunity to taste several wines with different foods! 10% savings on all the tasting wines for the week after the tasting!

The menu:

  • Carrot Ginger Soup
  • Vegetarian Chili ("family friendly" spice level - not too hot, but with some flavor)
  • Barbecue Meatloaf
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake (basically, chicken, ham and swiss stacked in layers rather than rolled, with a cream sauce and crumbs)
  • and maybe Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

We hope to see you on Tuesday!

The Wines:

White Wines:

Dry Creek "Dry" Chenin Blanc 2008 (California) Reg. $14.99, Sale $13.99 - YUM! That's what we have to say about this wine! Aromas & flavors of lemon, orange, pear & pineapple. Clean, crisp, well-balanced and easy-to-drink. This is soft and smooth! Great wine for warm days & a picnic/party! Food pairing - Great choice for shellfish, seafood, pasta salad, chicken and drinking! Perfect with curry dishes. Food & Wine, "Great Bargain - Terrific Wine Under $15;" Wine & Spirits, "Best Buy"

Oveja Negra Chardonnay Viognier 2008 (Chile) Reg. $9.99, Sale $8.99 - This is YUMMY!!! Huge hit at a recent tasting! Bright, fresh yellow stone (peach & apricot) fruit aromas. Just a subtle hint of oak. Rich, soft & mouthfilling. Crisp, well-balanced acidity that brings this alive! Flavors of tropical fruits (melon & pineapple), peaches, Granny Smith apples. 85% Chardonnay & 15% Viognier. The Viognier & Chardonnay are fermented separately, the Viognier on lees & in oak - adding richness to the wine. Food pairing - fresh scallops, shrimp, lighter fish, mussels in Thai coconut curry sauce, ham, roasted chicken, cream soups such as potato-and-leek, crab cakes.

Rosé Wine:

Charles & Charles Rosé 2009 (Washington) $11.99 - Delicious little Rosé from one of our favorite winemakers, Charles Smith of K Vintners. Peachy aromas and flavors with just a little hint of red berries. Smooth and easy! 100% Syrah. Food pairing - spicy dishes, salty dishes, grilled chicken, soups, thai food, Mexican food.

Red Wines:

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Riserva 2005 (Sardinia, Italy) $14.99 - We had this wine with dinner & loved it! I took it to a private wine tasting and it was the hit of the night! Rich, complex, enjoyable. Beautiful, pale, translucent color. Rich aromas of violets, red berries and more. Good fruit (cherries, red berries). Good spice. Medium-bodied. Nice long finish. Can't say enough about this wine! We had a great halibut dish & a rich seafood stew (spicy Italian version of bouillabaisse). Cannonau is Sardinia's primary red grape - in France it is Grenache. Food pairing - Goes great with rich foods, red meats and flavorful cheeses. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 50 (California) $12.99 - One of my favorite wines for years (OK, at my age, we're pushing decades here). Great value! It's lush, dense, filled with dark berry fruit, peppery spice in the mid-palette. This is a great value and fun to drink! Food pairing - It's great with grilled meats and other hearty fare. I love it with homemade pizza that has a spicy, garlicky sauce. Blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points, "...unquestionably one of the finest values in red wines."

M. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2008 (France) $12.99 - Delicious, food-friendly wine from the South of France! This is a weighty red with rich, ripe aromas and flavors of dark cherries, figs, plums and earth. Drinking best now through 2014. Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. Stainless steel aging and fermentation. Food pairings - grilled meats, stews, etc. Wine Spectator, 90 points, #75, Top 100 Wines 2009

If you want any of these wines and won't be there Tuesday, just let us know via phone or e-mail!

March 12, 2010

More Deals!

Deals and more deals!
Freeport Cheese & Wine

Spring appears to be here and we keep pushing the distributors for more Wine Deals! Pine State Distributors is again dropping prices A LOT on some really good wines. A few other distributors are as well. Some of these (the Leeuwin Estate wines) are repeats of wines from the January e-mail that Pine State still had in-stock. We bought all that Pine State had in stock. We also bought a bunch of other wines!

The wines are grouped by WHITE and RED. The wines are in alphabetical order.

Quantities are limited. We have all the wines in stock. Please call or e-mail if you want any of these!

White Wines

Alma Rosa Pinot Gris 2005 (California) Reg. $21.99, Sale $14.99
- We just tasted this on's SMOKIN'! Aromas and flavors of apricots, honeysuckle, pears, minerals, apples and almonds. This has a bigger, rounder texture than most Pinot Gris. Crisp, bright acidity. Stainless steel fermentation. 2,133 cases made. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - spicy Asian dishes, Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as paella, grilled fish with a spicy tropical fruit salsa.

Forest Glen Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay 2004 (California) Reg. $17.99, Sale $9.99 - This is tasting great! This is not the "grocery store" label from Forest Glen - it's their reserve. Unfortunately for the distributor, their sales force didn't sell it well, so they closed it out. Which is fortunate for you because the price is GREAT! It's not an oaky shows classic Chardonnay aromas and flavors of apples, pears, minerals and more. This is also cool because it has nice bottle age - the wine is bright and fresh! Crisp. Clean. Food pairing - chicken, seafood, lobster.

Leeuwine Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2005 (Australia) Reg. $89.99, Sale $19.99 -A little mute to begin of the nose but soon opens out to some very pretty floral and tropical fruit aromas: jasmine, pineapple, guava and some spicy oak plus faint hints of chalk dust and white pepper, with some coaxing. The palate is rich and ripe with a full body of concentrated fruit, and a decent backbone of medium to high acidity to balance. Long tropical finish. Drink now to 2015. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Leeuwine Estate Art Series Riesling 2006 (Australia) Reg. $21.99, Sale $13.99 - The light straw-colored 2006 Riesling "Art Series" exhibits a bouquet of mineral, spring flowers, and lemon-lime. This leads to a dry, crisp wine with plenty of citrus fruit, ripe flavors, excellent concentration, and a lengthy finish. Although it can be enjoyed now, particularly with raw bar, it will evolve for up to a decade in the manner of a top Mosel Riesling. Drink through 2017. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Leeuwine Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2006 (Australia) Reg. $33.99, Sale $12.99 - The 2006 Chardonnay Prelude Vineyard was barrel-fermented and aged in one-third new French oak. Medium straw-colored, it offers up an alluring bouquet of buttered toast, spiced apple, and tropical notes. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, it has superior depth, ripe flavors of pineapple and mango, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. Drink it over the next four years (2009-2013). Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Patz & Hall Durrell Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 (California) Reg. $44.99, Sale $24.99 - Good medium yellow. Lemon drop, orange, clove and minerals on the nose, complicated by a musky flinty, smoky character. Glyceral in the mouth, with fruit-driven flavors of pineapple, lemon custard and stone fruits. A bit more complex and deep than the Napa Valley bottling. Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 89 points

Vinum Cellars Vio Viognier 2007 (California) Reg. $29.99, Sale $22.99 - This is a rich, lush white with lots of minerality, acidity and exotic tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Coconut, nectarines, lychee fruit, vanilla and subtle toasted oak. It finishes juicy and soft. Fermented in small French oak barriques. Aged "sur lies" for 9 months. Partial malo-lactic fermentation. All of that means the wine is a weightier, more lush Viognier. Food pairing - sushi, sashimi, spicy Thai dishes.

Red Wines

Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2001 (Italy) Reg. $76.99, Sale $39.99 - 2001 was a GREAT, GREAT vintage in Brunello! This wine is just coming into its own and is delicious! Full-bodied. Concentrated. Supple. Aromas of dark fruit, chocolate, cola, mint, cherries and plums. Flavors of dark berries, cherries, toast, vanilla, dark chocolate, mocha and more! Excellent length with soft, integrated tannins. You can age this through at least 2016. Wine Spectator, 93 points; Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points

Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Syrah 2005 (Oregon) Reg. $29.99, Sale $19.99 - Delicious wine from one of my favorite Oregon wineries! Aromas of red raspberries, currant and blueberries. Bright, fresh flavors with a hint of baking spices and smoky meat. The tannins are moderate. This is just coming into its own in terms of aging. Syrah with less than 1% Viognier added to the blend. 100% estate-grown fruit. 90% of the grapes were destemmed and the remainder were whole-cluster fermented. Aged 22 months in 31% new French oak. 613 cases made. Wine Spectator, 91 points

Domaine de la Janasse Côtes-du-Rhône 2008 (France) Reg. $16.99, Sale $12.99 - Aromas and flavors of strawberry, black cherries, dried cherries, minerals and spices. We like this A LOT! This is a nice cross between an "Old World" (earthy and funky) CdR and a "New World-style" (lots of fruit and no earthiness) one! One of the best Côtes-du-Rhônes from the '08 vintage! Year-after-year this winery makes superb wines! You should drink this over the next 2-3 years ('08 is making good wines for NOW; '07 is the year you buy Rhônes to age). Blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 15% Carignan and 5% Cinsault. Grapes are destemmed before the crush. Stainless steel fermentation and aging (6-9 months). Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points

Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Australia) Reg. $24.99, Sale $16.99 - Aromas of dark berries with peppery spices and a little earth. Flavors of dark, cooked fruit (i.e.; before you add the sugar to jam), with dark chocolate and fine-grained tannins. Aged in French and American oak - the barrels are an even mix of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th use barrels - so, the oak influence is subtle. Wine Spectator, 88 points

Leeuwine Estate Prelude Cabernet Merlot 2003 (Australia) Reg. $33.99, Sale $12.99 - Bright red. Peppery, herb-accented cherry and redcurrant aromas strongly suggest Bordeaux; this doesn't smell like it's from a superripe vintage. Taut, light red berry and plum flavors are nicely focused and zesty, with fine-grained tannins adding structure. Finishes bright and crisp, with very good persistence and a lingering note of cherry pit. Nice balance here. Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90 points

Salentein Pinot Noir 2003 (Argentina) Reg. $22.99, Sale $9.99 - We bought this the last go-round with Pine State. This packs a PUNCH in terms of price/quality ratio! The medium ruby-colored 2003 Pinot Noir Reserva offers an alluring nose of raspberry, cherry, and rose petal. This leads to a velvety-textured wine with ripe flavors, good depth, and enough structure to last for several more years. Excellent; supple, rich and full bodied; a wine with intense fruitiness (plum, cherry), and layers of oak character (toast, smoke, cedar). Very long finish.

Sterling Vineyards SVR Reserve 2006 (California) Reg. $49.99, Sale $34.99 - This is one of California's classic Cabernet-based blends - and it is on a great deal! Tight, structured and full-bodied, with firm, ripe dried currant, blackberry, mineral, anise and sage flavors that have a touch of black licorice before ending with mocha, spices and fine-grained tannins. The wine is soft in texture. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Aged 18 months in oak (45% French, 40% American & 15% European). Decant this to taste it as its best. Best from 2011 through 2017. 5,770 cases made. Food pairing - beef, grilled steak, lamb chops. Wine Enthusiast, 94 points

Tintara Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Australia), Reg. $21.99, Sale $9.99 - Aromas of ripe dark berries and black currants with subtle cinnamon and leather notes. Tintara makes its reds to age for up to 10 years, so this is still drinking nicely! 100% McClaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon from 70-year-old vineyards. Flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, baking spices, vanilla and a little toast. Medium-bodied. Good length on the dry finish.