Wine Wednesday with Brian Demay

Listen to Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday review every week, and comment on Facebook for a chance to join us for the next LIVE Wine Wednesday event (TBD)!

Brian will talk about the wines that we will sample, there will be perfectly-paired menu items, plus you can win prizes during the event.


must be 21 to enter and win

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

Dry Creek

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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