Brian Demay

Weekdays 3pm – 7pm

Brian Demay is a small town guy, born in Detroit, but raised in northern Michigan, where he began his radio career. After a memorable six-year stint doing mornings in Dayton, he met his wife Heather, and together they traveled across the east coast. A proud father of two teenage kids and two rambunctious lab mixes, Brian writes a wine blog and reviews a delicious wine every week on “Wine Wednesday” (see below). His show also features interesting stories behind the songs we play on Warm 98.5, health and diet tips, and a Corny Joke of the Day every afternoon at 5:15, often delivered by one of his kids.  Catch Brian on the ride home during the Five O’Clock Happy Hour!

Brian's Wine Wednesday

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Wine Stories: Hanover Winery & the wines of Ohio

Feb 13, 3:15 PM There’s a reason downtown Cincinnati has a Vine Street! Brian Demay talks to winemaker Ed McDonald from Hanover Winery about the history of wine in Ohio, Cincinnati’s German heritage, and how the wine scene on the banks of the Ohio River could have become the Napa of the Midwest, were it…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Justin Cabernet Sauvignon

I have been on a Paso Robles kick lately. It seems every wine I try lately from this storied region along California’s Central Coast has been excellent. I have mentioned on this blog before how important it is for grapes to be able to cool down at night to preserve freshness and acidity. The term…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Daou Cabernet

I have really lucked out recently finding stellar wines at truly affordable prices. The DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is one I have always wanted to try, but the $27 price tag gave me pause. I won’t hesitate to pay that – or more – for a wine I know, but not for an unknown commodity.…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Stolen Identity

When I picked up this bottle at the wine store, the manager on duty said, “Good choice: that’s the best bottle of red wine under $20 you can buy.” That is obviously a very subjective statement, particularly if I don’t know the person saying it, but I decided to take it home and see for…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet

This week’s featured wine literally made me sit up straighter in my chair after my first taste. I looked at the bottle, took another sip, and thought “did I open an expensive bottle by mistake?” As readers of this blog know, I am always searching for affordable wines with exceptional taste, and this wine has…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Juggernaut Cabernet

I have to hand it to the Bogle family: they have been making high quality, affordable wines for over 50 years now. You may have seen their Phantom label in stores, a rich red blend I have reviewed previously. Juggernaut is their latest venture, a small production division harvesting grapes from their best hillside vineyard…MORE

Wine Stories: The Wines of Central Italy and Tuscany

Part 3 in the “Wines of Italy” series, Brian Demay and sommelier Steve Tartaglia tackle the history of Central Italian wines, including the legend of Chianti’s Black Rooster, and they taste the Montenidoli Vernaccia, a delicious Mocali Rosso Di Montalcino, and the Cirelli La Collina Biologica Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (below). They also discuss the rise of…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Scaia Corvina

I talk a lot about oak aging on this blog. Over the years I have learned a lot about the different types of oak barrels winemakers use, and the specific flavors the different types of oak impart to the wines; everything from caramel, cinnamon and vanilla to mocha, oregano and pepper. Each winemaker has a…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Dry Creek Heritage Vines Zinfandel

We all have our favorites. I find a really good California Cabernet hard to beat, but often the price of a “good one” puts it out of reach for more than just the occasional drink. I end up trying a bunch of bad ones, my frustration builds, and to restore my faith in reasonably-priced red…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Rengo Amarone

One cold day about 10 years ago my wife and I were at a wine tasting in New York. We tasted a lot of wines that day, none were particularly good. A friend of ours said “When you’re done, come on over to the bar.” We did, and he and his friend had open a…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Cleto Chiarli Premium Lambrusco

I had a revelation this week: could this be the perfect Thanksgiving wine? I think the answer to that question is yes. This dry sparkling Lambrusco from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region is not only delicious on so many levels, but also unbelievably affordable. A wine friend of mine recommended this bottle and I was delighted with…MORE

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Brian Demay talks to Paula Kollstedt of the Alzheimer’s Association

Paula Kollstedt, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Cincinnati Chapter, talks to Brian Demay about an exciting new breakthrough in Alzheimer’s treatment, the latest research, and the ways the association helps not only patients, but caregivers. #Alzheimers #Treatment #Biogen #aducanumabMORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: CS Substance Cabernet Sauvignon

When I was a boy my father smoked a pipe. If you close your eyes and picture a stereotypical professor, that was my Dad: mustache, tweed coat with elbow patches, cup of coffee, pipe, smoke wafting around his head as he graded papers. I never cared for the smell of the pipe smoke, but I…MORE

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Wine Stories: Super Premium Napa Cabs

In this podcast, Brian Demay and Wine Ambassador Jim Teegarden from Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits highlight three newly released, super-premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons: Caymus Special Selection Cabernet (2015) Joseph Phelps Insignia (2016) & Robert Mondavi The Reserve Cabernet (2016) What makes these wines premium? In this once-in-a-lifetime tasting, Brian and Jim discuss the…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Bodegas Breca Garnacha

When you ask yourself what country devotes the most land to vineyards, which comes to mind? France, certainly, possibly the United States, but the fact is the country with the most land devoted to vineyards is Spain, and it’s really not even close. Spain has over 10,000 square miles of vineyards, nearly 3 million acres!…MORE

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Brian’s Hallo-Wine Wednesday: Casillero del Diablo “Devil’s Red”

The final selection in my annual Hallo-Wine series is aptly named: Casillero del Diablo means “Cellar of the Devil,” and this particular wine is from the so-called “Devil’s Collection.” And the best part of this wine is the price! But first, some history. In the closing years of the 19th century Don Melchor de Concha…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Ghost Pines Red Blend

Another great wine to bring to that Halloween party is this Sonoma red blend from Ghost Pines. Legend has it, iconic winemaker Louis Martini named a vineyard after the native grey pines around it, which appear to hover, ghostlike, at dusk. This wine was a relief to taste – because in preparing for this Hallo-Wine…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Bogle Phantom

Another in my series of “Hallo-Wines” is Bogle Phantom. Especially this time of year, this one is hard to miss in stores. Available just about everywhere, with a spooky image of a ghostly smoke creature on the label, this wine looks perfect to bring to a Halloween party…but how does it taste? First, a little…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Time Waits For No One

Part 2 of my Hallo-Wine series features a wine with a skull and crossbones on the label! Trust me, though, don’t let that deter you from trying this delicious Spanish red, which is 100% Monastrell (also known as Mourvedre in France). This is a grape that is said to need “its face in the hot sun…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Freakshow Red Blend

Now that it’s getting closer to Halloween, I am going to feature offbeat wines that you can bring to a party. Here is one of my favorites. I admit freely that I am a big fan of Michael David Winery. As a matter of fact, I have liked every single Michael David wine I have…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: B-Side Cabernet Sauvignon

I haven’t talked much about tannins on this blog, so let’s delve into it a bit, if you’re unfamiliar with the term. Tannins are defined as naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems. A red wine gets its color from soaking the juice with these skins, seeds and stems, but it…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Silver Palm Cabernet

Every now and then you luck out with a restaurant wine list choice. More on that in a minute. The rules for what grapes go into a particular wine vary from country to country. France has very strict rules for what can be considered Bordeaux, for example, as does Italy for Chianti, Spain for Rioja,…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Stellenbosch Faithful Hound

As good as American wines are, there is a wide world of wine out there, and it’s a lot of fun to explore. Take, for example, the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, a university town settled by the Dutch in the late 17th century. Nestled on the banks of the Eerste River and the foothills…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Borne of Fire Cabernet

I have written before on this blog about the tremendous wines coming out of Washington State. I was a particular fan of the Duckhorn Canvasback Cabernet previously reviewed, which got a high rating from me despite its $39 price tag. This week’s wine hits a new mark for quality and value. My new favorite Cabernet from…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Mount Veeder Cabernet

On a trip to Napa several years ago, I had two Cabernets from the same vineyard, that tasted completely different. Both were very good, but one had a much more interesting flavor, with layers of fruit, spice, and tremendous aroma. I was shocked when I found out that the grape for both wines was the…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Ferrari-Carano Siena

A question I get a lot from people headed out to Napa or Sonoma is “what winery should I visit?” Ideally you want a place that is gorgeous, with wines that match, and Ferrari-Carano definitely fits the bill. TripAdvisor consistently mentions the gardens at Ferrari-Carano as one of the most beautiful in California wine country,…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Cote Des Roses

French wine can be an expensive proposition. Top-shelf Bordeaux and Burgundy run into the hundreds per bottle on the low end, and into the thousands for certain collectible wines. Needless to say, out of the range of most to afford. Thankfully, other regions in France are more accessible to wine lovers, and at the forefront…MORE

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Wine Stories: Rose & The Wines of Southern France

Brian Demay and wine ambassador Jim Teegarden of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits discuss French Rosé, and the history of the wines of Southern France, specifically Languedoc. The delicious wines we taste from Gerard Bertrand are: * Cote Des Roses * Ballerine Brut Etoile Rosé * 2016 Cigalus (the wine served at the Nobel Prize…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Orion Primitivo

In the world of wine there are no guarantees, because taste is so subjective. But I’m confident of this: if you like Zinfandel, you’ll enjoy Primitivo, too. For many years America sought to claim Zinfandel as its own indigenous grape, native only to California. It wasn’t until the 1960s that scientists realized Zinfandel was actually…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Paraduxx

I have been to Napa three times, but still one of my fondest memories was visiting Duckhorn Winery for the very first time. There’s something about the place: a gorgeous tasting room with huge windows overlooking the vineyard, with a beautiful garden and huge trees, under which are set cozy seating and tables. The day…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Once the weather gets warmer, it’s hard to beat a nice Sauvignon Blanc. Done right, the balance between fruitiness and acidity is perfectly refreshing. Sadly, most inexpensive Sauv Blancs either have no flavor, or basically taste like sweet fruit juice. Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc is a happy exception, and delivers perfect flavor at a very…MORE

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Wine Stories Podcast – Wines of Northwest Italy

Brian Demay and sommelier Steve Tartaglia planned to do a “Wines of Italy” segment but realized the regions and history of Italian winemaking are too varied and vast to do only one, so this is the first of a series. Behold: The Wines of Northwest Italy, and specifically the delicious alpine wines of this storied…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon

Until recently, more than 80% of the wine produced in Washington State was consumed in Washington State. Despite over 71,000 square miles of vineyards in the state(!!), for a long time most wine there was made by and for Washington residents. Thankfully, that has changed in a big way, and most big-name wine families are…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Leacock’s Rainwater Madeira

In honor of Independence Day, I decided to be patriotic and review the wine our Founding Fathers drank to toast the Declaration of Independence way back in July of 1776. It’s a wine that used to be everywhere in Colonial America, but is a bit harder to find these days. I had to go to…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Wairau River Pinot Noir

Although wine making in New Zealand began in the early 1800s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the world took notice. As I have mentioned previously, the wine that put NZ on the map was Sauvignon Blanc, but lately there have been some very nice 90+ point Pinot Noirs, including this week’s featured wine, from…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Infinito

I talk a lot in these reviews about how better wine is made from vines that don’t have the most ideal growing conditions; when you have rich, fertile soil, and incredible moisture, you end up with watery, uninteresting grapes and poor quality wine. Ideally, grape vines should be stressed, with dry conditions that force the…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Allegrini Valpolicella

It’s time to delve into the sometimes confusing world of Italian wines. Like France, Italy names its wines by the region in which it is grown. Valpolicella is a region in Northeast Italy, near the border with Austria. Fun fact: the word means literally “Valley of many cellars.” Needless to say, they have been making…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Contrade Malvasia Chardonnay

One of the first wines I tasted as a young wine explorer was a dessert wine made of the Malvasia grape. It was in Virginia, and the wine steward told those gathered at the tasting that it was a favorite of the founding fathers. Malvasia is one of the grapes used to make Madeira, a…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Murrieta’s Well The Spur

The Livermore Valley wine region is literally where the California wine industry started. It’s where Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the 1760s. Then in the mid-1800s, Robert Livermore planted the area’s first commercial vineyards. A few years later, winemaking pioneer C. H. Wente arrived and established California Chardonnay in the region. James…MORE

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Wine Stories with Brian Demay

Brian Demay and sommelier Steve Tartaglia tackle the origin and history of oak aging. From oak casks which transported wine in horse-drawn carriages across Europe to the oak barrels which traversed the ocean, it has played a huge part in the story of wine. Brian considers it a “happy accident” that we used oak to…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Wente Sandstone Merlot

Most wine lovers remember the line from the movie Sideways where Miles becomes upset with his friend Jack, who suggests they and the women in their group all have a glass of Merlot. Jack : “If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot.” Miles Raymond : “No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Tenshen Red Wine

There are days when you’re eating light, and a big red wine just doesn’t go with that salad, or sushi, that you’re having. And then, there are days when a big, bold red wine with zing is just what the doctor ordered. That’s what you get with Tenshen, a delicious red blend from winemaker Joey…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Santa Julia Mountain Blend

As much good wine as there is available to explore, I still break them all down to two categories: quick and slow. There are millions of wines that are pleasant enough, you like the taste, but you’re not going to spend much time thinking about them during, or after, you have a glass. I consider…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon

Here is some awesome news if you like California wine: the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons were spectacular. Extremely dry conditions, no crazy spikes in heat or cold, no excessive rain during harvest – all of this contributed to excellent quality of grapes overall in Sonoma and Napa, and the wines which were made from…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Locations I (#4)

The “I” in the name of this wine stands for Italy. Winemaker Dave Phinney, whose claim to fame is the mega-popular Prisoner wine brand, among other things, has lent his expertise to the Locations wines. What started out as four distinctive red wines from France, California, Italy and Spain has grown to eight, as well…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Imagery Cabernet

When I visited Sonoma last year, I was taken with the thriving art scene. Galleries were all over, and local art was on display everywhere, providing an interesting counterpoint to the rugged nature of Sonoma overall.  No winery reflects that unique aesthetic more than Imagery Winery. Founded by Joe Benziger, of the famed Benziger winemaking…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: King Estate Pinot Gris

At a wine event recently someone asked “if I order Pinot, what will the server bring me?” It was an interesting question, because when you think “Pinot” the wine that probably comes to mind is Pinot Noir, a very popular red wine. But the fact is, there are many different varieties: Pinot Blanc, the aforementioned…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Klinker Brick Zinfandel

One of the biggest successes of the California wine industry in the 1970s was taking the red Zinfandel grape and making it into a spritzy, sweet white wine, often in a box. To this day that’s what many people think of when they see the word “Zinfandel,” which is such a shame – because it’s…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Schild Estate GMS

Schild Estate is a family winery located in Australia’s famed Barossa Valley, established in 1952. Ed Schild took over the operations of the winery when he was just 16 after the untimely death of his parents, and he’s still working the vineyard with his children, and now grandchildren. Three generations of Schild family members manage…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Troublemaker Red Blend

Knowing a good wine used to mean knowing the vintage, or year it was bottled. Most winemakers harvest grapes during a specific year, from a specific area or vineyard, and label their bottles accordingly, but some wines may be labeled “NV,” or non-vintage. Non-vintage wines mean juice from two or more different years are blended…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Noble Vines 337 Cabernet

There are nights when you want a bold, full-bodied wine to go with a special dinner, and nights when you want an everyday wine to go with burgers or pizza. Burger night doesn’t mean you want a bad wine, just a decent but affordable one that you can pick up at Kroger. This week’s selection…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon

There is a lot of experimentation going on in the wine world today, especially in Washington State, and I love it. Not only are we seeing interesting blends and grape varieties that are new to the American continent, but winemakers are also experimenting with aging techniques. There’s still plenty of traditional aging in new French…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: The Franc, Cosentino Winery

My wine career began in Virginia about 20 years ago. I had just moved from Ohio to Charlottesville, and toured a winery there with my wife. We both fell in love with the rolling hills, the rows of vines, the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance, and the whole idea of wine and winemaking. It wasn’t…MORE

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Wine Stories with Brian Demay – Episode 13 “Sonoma”

Brian Demay and sommelier Steve Tartaglia discuss Sonoma, its history and terroir, and sample three delicious wines from this storied region: Wind Gap Chardonnay, Lioco Pinot Noir, and Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel      MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Villa Antinori Toscana

2015 was a great vintage in Tuscany: hot, dry days, cool nights, and a light August rain which refreshed the vines just in time for harvesting. The saying “rising tides raise all ships” certainly applies, as even less expensive labels are putting out spectacular wines! On my bucket list of places to visit, Tuscany is…MORE

The Ancient Law of Abundance

Every year on my show I talk about the Ancient Law of Abundance. The idea dates back over 2,000 years, and is supposed to guarantee financial prosperity in the coming year. The idea is similar to the law of attraction: i.e., thinking about something brings it to you. A lot of my listeners always call in wanting…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Hahn Estates Cabernet

There are wines that you save for special occasions, and wines you buy repeatedly because they are a good value, and of reliable quality. The Hahn Estates Cabernet is an everyday wine, always reasonably priced, and always good quality. Whenever I see the red rooster on the label I pick up a bottle. So why the…MORE

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Wine Stories #6 – Bubbly!

Brian and Steve talk about bubbly, just in time for NYE: how is it made? When did it start? Plus three delicious examples, a Spanish Cava, an American sparkler made in New Mexico with transplanted vines from Champagne, France, and a French wine that can indeed be called Champagne! Here are the wines we discussed:MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Gruet Blanc de Noirs

The United States is one of the top wine-producing countries in the world. Every state in the union makes wine, but not every state makes world-class wine. We tend to think of California, Washington State or Oregon for those; but what about New Mexico? This week’s featured wine is a sparkler from Albuquerque, with grapes harvested…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Shannon Ridge Petite Sirah

This wine was a very pleasant surprise. I was at a farmer’s market with my wife and we felt obliged to buy something there, so we picked up a bottle of Shannon Ridge Petite Sirah, not knowing anything about the winery, except that it is 100% sustainably farmed. I like wineries that don’t rely on…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel

#40 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2018 is Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel. Every year I usually peruse the WS list, look at the prices, and think “oh well,” but in this case, you can find this wine for around $15 at Kroger! So I picked up a bottle, and after I tasted it,…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Dashe Zinfandel

There are so many California Zinfandels available at rock-bottom prices these days that it becomes difficult to even distinguish between them. They’re all big, fruity, and to be quite honest: bland and one-note. That is not the case with the 2014 Dry Creek Zinfandel from Dashe Cellars. This Oakland based winery takes a definitive non-industrial…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Kung Fu Girl Riesling

I am a big fan of German Riesling, from the Mosel River Valley. It is, in my opinion, the best example of what Riesling should be, and almost a miracle, when you consider how far north the vineyards lie! Thanks to south-facing vineyards which are extremely steep, and angled to catch every ray of sun,…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir

On a recent trip to Napa, I tasted a LOT of Pinot Noir. This finicky grape is thin-skinned, and temperamental, requiring extra care when harvesting. Most wineries harvest it at night, so the grapes remain cool, and pick by hand, even wearing gloves so the grapes stay as pristine as possible from the vineyard to…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Carne Humana

Continuing my Hallowine series, it’s time to talk about one of my favorite red blends: Carne Humana, an odd name for a wine, because it means literally “human flesh,” but it’s a perfect wine to get people talking if you bring it to a Halloween party. I am happy to report, there are no meat…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Sinister Hand

Once October hits, it’s always fun to find wines with spooky labels to bring to a Halloween party. This week’s featured wine fits the bill: Sinister Hand, complete with blood dripping from an armored hand. So…what is the story behind the name? Owen Roe Winery writes, “during the 17th century, the O’Neills and O’Reillys were…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Gran Passione Rosso

Readers of this blog know how much I love Amarone, an expensive Italian wine from Veneto that dries grapes before they are crushed, resulting in a very rich, very bold red wine. Because the process to make it is so intensive – and very regulated – the wines tend to be in the $50 to…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Josh Cellars Cabernet Reserve

There are so many factors that go into making wine. One bottle requires the labor of many, many people, from the wine maker right down to the people picking the grapes. But it’s more than labor – it’s also weather, the main thing people are referring to when discussing a vintage. If you’re a California…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Coppola Sofia Rosé

On a hot summer day, enjoying a heavy red wine gets a little harder. Admittedly, on days like this, I will often crank up the AC and still pour myself a nice Cabernet! But there’s something about sitting outside, feeling a warm summer breeze, and lifting a glass of crisp, chilled Rosé to your lips.…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Shebang Tenth Cuvee

My daughter at dinner recently said “Dad, you take wine too seriously!” She was annoyed because I made her move as I took a picture of this week’s featured wine, Shebang Tenth Cuvee, a California red blend from Sonoma’s Bedrock Winery. My wife and I found this one totally at random on our weekly trip to…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Syrah

One of the great things about Wine Spectator is that all their ratings are based on “blind tasting,” i.e. the critics do not know anything about the wines they rate, so they are not influenced by the label, the maker, or if they advertise with the magazine. I can tell you from experience that blind…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Gabbiano Black Knight

I have heard it said that now is a phenomenal time to get into wine, because a lot of the old rules no longer apply. For example: you can buy a nice Bordeaux or Napa Cabernet, drink it now, and it will taste great. In years past, you pretty much had to lay down a…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 1000 Stories Zinfandel

Welcome to the newest trend in wine and beer: bourbon barrel aging. The idea behind this trend is simple: most red wines are aged in oak barrels, why not in charred bourbon barrels, for a more interesting flavor? To be clear, no whiskey is being added to the wine, they are just aging the juice…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Penya Rosé

This week’s featured wine is a Rosé from the Languedoc region of France, 30 miles north of Spain. The village in Rousillon where the grapes were grown used to be part of Spain in the 17th Century, and Penya is its traditional Catalan name. There are still so many misconceptions about Rosé, so let’s clear up a…MORE

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Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Jacob Heims Riesling

Not long ago I found out that some relatives of mine own a winery in Germany, and they specialize in Riesling. (I knew wine was in my blood!) My mother is from Bavaria, and I have not been there to visit her side of the family since I was a kid. Now I have a…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: MacMurray Estate Pinot Noir

It had been a few years since I tried the MacMurray Estates Pinot Noir. I had given the 2013 very high marks – would the 2015 be as good? The answer: a resounding YES. Before my tasting notes, some background. In 1941 actor Fred MacMurray (he of My Three Sons fame) bought some land north…MORE

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Wine Stories #9 – Balkan Wines with Riza Sejdic

Brian Demay and sommelier Steve Tartaglia talk about wines from the Balkans, including two genetic predecessors to #Zinfandel and #Primitivo native to the Dalmatian coast, with importer extradordinaire Riza Sejdic. #Plavac #Vranac #ZilavkaMORE

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National Wine Day! A Few Of My Faves

May 25th has been designated National Wine Day. Readers of mine know I don’t need a holiday to drink wine, so allow me to share some of my favorites, red and white, to help your shopping this Memorial Day Weekend: An All-Purpose Red Blend: Freakshow Red Blend This is a reliably good, very tasty, full-bodied…MORE

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John Mayer’s New Light Video

John Mayer’s new video is brilliant! I needed to make a video for New Light but nobody could agree on a budget. (MUSIC INDUSTRY amirite?) So I went to a place downtown and made this with a company that usually does birthday and Bar Mitzvah videos. Link: https://t.co/L0ZnOdqANz pic.twitter.com/uqRkhQZTnO — John Mayer (@JohnMayer) May 24,…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 19 Crimes

Someone asked me recently, what’s the best red wine under $10? I used to have several recommendations, but over time only one has remained consistently decent year after year. This is it. 19 Crimes is an Australian red blend that comes in an interesting bottle, with a black and white picture of a British rogue on…MORE

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Wine Stories Podcast – The California Wildfires

Brian and Steve talk to Chris Benziger from #Benziger Winery, as he recounts the harrowing experience escaping the California wildfires. We also discuss #biodynamics, and the Benziger Sauvignon Blanc, #Merlot and #Cabernet Sauvignon.MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: H3 Cabernet

There was a time not that long ago when 93% of all wines produced in Washington State were consumed in Washington State. That has changed, and thank goodness, because there are wines of tremendous quality being made there, which deserve to compete with the best in the world. We demonstrated this at a recent event…MORE

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Wine Stories Podcast #7 – Bordeaux!

Brian and Steve learned a lot about Bordeaux…well, Brian did anyway…from the expert of the genre, Mr. Dan Greathouse, President of Heidelberg Vineyards.               The wines we sampled: 2005 Chateau Sociando Mallet, from Haut Medoc – the favorite of the night! 2014 Chateau Paveil De Luze, from Margaux 2014…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Locations WA

We have been talking a lot lately about winemaker Dave Phinney, The Prisoner, and Orin Swift Cellars. The reason is because he is fabulously successful, much like Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has been in the NFL. Dave, like Bill, somehow manages, year after year, to put an outstanding product on the “field,” making…MORE

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The Tri-State’s Most Underrated Cities

Photo by JonRidinger (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons THRILLIST just put together a list of the Most Underrated Cities in Each State, which I thought was kind of interesting: for example, did you know that Homer, Alaska is known as a hip, beach community? (I suppose for a month a year it…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Replica Wines Pickpocket Red

There was a time, not that long ago, when you could buy a delicious wine called The Prisoner for about $15 a bottle. This is a red blend from Napa that is both smooth and flavorful with a defined tannic structure that everyone loved. Those were heady days before the world had discovered how good…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 7 Deadly Zins

I have a weakness for Michael David wines. Year after year, they are of consistent quality and deliciousness, whether it’s the previously reviewed Petite Petit, the Freakshow cabernet and red blends, or this week’s featured wine: 7 Deadly Zins. When I first started trying Michael David wines, I thought there was just one genius winemaker…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Joel Gott 815 Cabernet

I’ve mentioned before how difficult it is to find a good California Cabernet for under $20. I have found contenders, but usually they end up letting me down. So it was with some trepidation that I picked up a bottle of the 2012 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet. A 100% California Cabernet Sauvignon for $16.99? C’mon!…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: The Velvet Devil

I’m not usually a fan of low cost Merlot, but this little devil enticed me. The Velvet Devil is a rich, fruit-forward red wine, with a nose of strawberry and tobacco. This is almost entirely Merlot (99%) with a little Cabernet (1%) added to it, and like most Charles Smith wines, they are developed for how people drink…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Chateau Fontenil Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a region in France known for some of the most sought after and expensive wines in the world. For those on a limited wine budget, the better Bordeaux wines are usually out of reach. That’s why this week’s feature is a golden opportunity. Chateau Fontenil is a vineyard of several acres in Fronsac, on…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: The Footbolt Shiraz

I am always intrigued by the history of wine and those who make it. The story of this week’s wine, an Australian Shiraz called The Footbolt, is the name; to what, exactly, does Footbolt refer? First, a little history. Winemaking in Australia started in the late 1800s, and spread from there. Today, there are 12 families…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Block M Pinot Noir

Like it or not, wine has become big business. When a wine becomes popular, corporate America notices, and sees dollar signs. Familiar wine brands like Meiomi and The Prisoner are sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, and a common result is that bottle of your (formerly) favorite wine suddenly costs a lot more than…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Marichal Tannat

Over the years I have tried some interesting wines, with names I had never heard before. Tannat, for example. This is a french grape whose name translated means “tannin,” which is the taste you get from a grape’s seeds, stem and skin. As I have found, making wines of my own, there’s a lot more to…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Santo Cristo Garnacha Seleccion

In certain smaller communities in Europe, it takes a village to make wine. Local farmers grow grapes and bring them to the winemaker, who then picks the best lots for what he or she may be making and pays the farmers accordingly. For all the romance and history of wine, the bottom line is you…MORE

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Wine Stories #5 – Holiday Wines

In this episode of Wine Stories, Brian Demay and Steve Tartaglia, wine manager and sommelier from The Party Source, discuss three wines that would go well with whatever is on your holiday table: ham, turkey, cranberry, potatoes, and more! Here are the wines we discuss:  MORE

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Wine Stories Podcast – Pinot Noir

Brian Demay and sommelier Steve Tartaglia talk about Pinot Noir: why is it called that? Why did the Roman army stop bringing their own wine with them when they conquered what is now Burgundy, France? And what do pine cones have to do with anything? Listen and find out! And here are the three wines…MORE

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