All posts by Brandon Wheeler

VC Tasting 4-25-2013

Hey guys,

Special tasting selection this week! The focus is going to be sustainable wines! There’ll even be a BOXED WINE! Get excited, and as always, enjoy!


Trattoria Busa Alla Torre Da Lele NV, $7.95

Veneto, Italy

Named after the famous restaurant in Italy! This is their house white wine! Coppery color from extended skin contact, round and rich texture with juicy melon aromas and flavors with a sweet fennel note on the ultra smooth finish. Great value Grigio! Drink now.


Lobetia Chardonnay, 2011, $9.95

La Mancha, Spain

Organically and naturally grown and made, this wine allows the varietal and the terroir to stand out cleanly. Clean, bright color with a greenish-yellow tone. On the nose, exotic fruits like pineapple. Full flavored, fresh, with good acidity in the mouth, it finishes with tropical fruits.


Lobetia Tempranillo, 2011, $9.95

La Mancha, Spain

Organically and naturally grown and made, this wine allows the varietal and the terroir to stand out cleanly. It shows a nice cherry color with a violet shade because of its youth. Red berries and cherries on the nose. On the palate it is fresh, slightly astringent, and harmonious with a long finish.


Reserve Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône, 2010, $14.95/ 750mL, $38.95/ 3L

Rhone Valley, France

As for their other values, the 2010 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault) displays loads of ripe flavors. It is very concentrated for a Cotes du Rhone, and is actually an amazing wine. Classic garrigue, black cherry liqueur,  avender, licorice and spice box are all present in this fullbodied, intense, and rich Cotes du Rhone. This is a sensational effort to drink over the next 4-5 years, although it might last even longer.


VC Tasting 4-18-2013

Hey guys,

Here’s the tasting selection for this week. Enjoy!


Wilson Daniels Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, $7.95

Central Coast, California

Orange blossom and citrus permeate the aromas. Alluring flavors of orange and grapefruit dominate the palate. Bright acidity balances the plush mouthfeel, resulting in a clean finish.


Chandon Sweet Cuvée, NV$9.95


This wine is an innovative sparkling wine style revealing vibrant stone fruit and floral aromas with rich, luscious mouthfeel. This wine enlivens the senses and sparks spontaneous moments, complementing your passion for a good life.


Black Ridge White Zinfandel, NV, $3.95


This fruit forward White Zinfandel displays fresh aromas and crisp flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is incredibly food friendly and will pair well with burgers, sandwiches, fruit salad, and more.

Ksana Bonarda 2008, $9.95

Mendoza, Argentina

The bouquet is floral and lightly jammy, with berry aromas and a savory note or two. To the uninitiated, this is a great introduction to Bonarda. Finishes solid. Very sweet, berry smell with some rooty undertones. Kind of dry, makes your lips pucker.


Concannon Shiraz 2008, $7.95

Central Coast, California

This is an extremely rich, full-bodied wine with a dark fruit core. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cassis and dark cherry are followed by more berry fruits and chocolate and mocha on the palate.


VC Tasting 4-11-2013

Hey guys,

Here’s the tasting selection for this week. Sorry about the delay! Enjoy!


Smoking Loon, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009, $7.95


This bleached blonde beauty is reminiscent of fresh green apples, pineapple and has hints of hibiscus blossoms. The concentration of zesty lemon and gooseberry fills your mouth leaving notes of thyme and melon behind. The bright acid in this wine gives you a zing  while the fruit keeps your mouth watering for more. This wine pairs beautifully with a grilled prawn salad with a grapefruit vinaigrette, veggie spring rolls or grilled tilapia with mango salsa.


Bricco Dei Tati Rosè, 2012, $6.95


100% Barbera

Fresh with aromas of strawberries, cherries, and rose petals, this an ideal wine with shellfish, salads, chicken, and appetizers.


Wilson Daniels Merlot, 2010, $7.95

Central Coast, California

Made predominantly from Paso Robles grapes, the wine is fullbodied and silky yet robust, with aromas of black cherry and plum
and a palate of blackberry, raspberry and blueberry jam laced with vanilla and toast.


Torre Castillo Alegre, 2010, $9.95

Jumilla, Spain

100% Monastrell

4 months in new American oak barrels

Bright ruby-red. Dried cherry, pipe tobacco and rose aromas, with a hint of woodsmoke. Sweet and fleshy on the palate, with blackberry and cherry flavors complimented by licorice and a suggestion of dried herbs. The cherry and smoke notes repeat on the finish.


Caprice de BastorLamontagne, 2004, $7.95

Sauternes, France

60% Semillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Muscadelle

Very clean, with lemon, mineral and honey aromas that follow through to a medium body. Shows vanilla, apple and melon flavors, with a medium finish. Lightly sweet.


VC Tasting 4-4-2013

Hey guys,


Here’s the tasting selection at the Vintage Cellar this week! Enjoy! And thanks for all the help with the Gary V. campaign! Keep it up!


Veleta Brut Vino Espumoso Rosado, NV, $3.95


Rosé salmon with copper reflections. Slow rising fine bubble that forms “lace” and “rosary”. In the nose is complex and elegant with red fruit, citric, exotic, fresh flowers, and notes of dry fruits and dry flowers. Fresh, gentle, and alive. Perfectly integrated “perlage” with serious and subtle flavors of dry fruits, pomegranate and lemonade. Long lasting scent of flowers and herbs.


Veleta Tempranillo Rosado, 2010, $3.95

Granada, Spain

Fresh in flavor and crisp in texture, this dry rosé offers berry, tart cherry and light herbal flavors, with firm acidity and a clean finish. Focused and juicy.


Cresta Azul, NV, $5.95


Moscatel, Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo

Peach, orange cream and vanilla flavors mingle in this softly bubbly white. Off-dry, but with crisp acidity and a clean finish.


Château Serres Sainte Lucie Corbières, $4.95

Corbières, France

Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre

Superb dark garnet color with a few reflections of dark orange. Intense nose of ripe fruits, spices, and roasted coffee. The palate is rounded and full, with silky matured tannins and hints of vanilla. This wine is rich and powerful with layers of tannins.


Ruta 22 Malbec, $7.95

Patagonia, Argentina

Stout and dense from the beginning, with blackberry and violet aromas. Despite being a bold and dark Malbec, this is fresh and composed, with sweet blackberry and cassis flavors. Good on the finish, with candied fruit and caramel sweetness.


VC Tasting 3-28-2013

Hey guys,

Here’s the tasting selection for the Vintage Cellar this week. Enjoy!


Canyon Road Chardonnay, 2011, $6.95


Medium- bodied wine with notes of crisp apple and ripe citrus fruit with a hint of cinnamon spice. Delicious complement to grilled chicken, lighter pasta dishes or mild cheeses.


Sainte Victoire Côtes de Provence, 2011, $8.95

Provence, France

Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault

Bright salmon pink; typical of the fresh but warm Provence style. Refined and complex on the nose, with summer fruit and floral notes. Dry and crisp, with a delicate flavor and full texture.


Tres Ojos Garnacha, 2011, $6.95

Calatayud, Spain

The wine has a brick red color with a bouquet of red raspberries, spice and white pepper. The palate is incredibly concentrated and rich. The modern styles of Garnacha in Spain are continuously being perceived worldwide as wines of extraordinarily good quality. This wine is fruity, juicy and shows a great depth, ripe tannins, length but yet with wonderful elegance and lightness. Enjoy with sausages, roasted meats, aged cheeses etc.


Montebuena, 2010, $8.95

Rioja, Spain

100% Tempranillo

Ripe cherry and blackcurrant on the nose and in the mouth. Pliant and seamless in texture, with good heft and back-end energy. Finishes smooth and sweet, with fine-grained tannins providing shape and grip. Still on the young side but this wine drinks very well with an hour or so of decanting; it’s an excellent value for Rioja.



Emeri de Bortoli Sparkling Shiraz, $9.95

South Eastern Australia

A relatively light, fresh style of sparkling Shiraz, with berries and hints of chocolate picking up just a touch of sweet vanilla on the finish.


VC Tasting 3-21-2013

Hey guys,

Here’s the tasting selection at the Vintage Cellar for the week. Enjoy!

**Sorry for the mixup before spring break! **

Cortenova Pinot Grigio, 2012, $7.95


Brilliant straw color with emerald reflections. Fresh and floral bouquet with a hint of pears, apricots and bananas. Fresh and inviting with bright fruit and an easy drinking style with a pleasing hint of almonds in the aftertaste. Pairs well with seafood dishes, risottos with scampi, spaghetti with clams, sole in white wine  Perfect also as an aperitif.

Maipe Malbec Rosé, 2011. $7.95

Mendoza, Argentina

Intense pink color with violet hints. Fresh red fruit bouquet, strawberry and cherry flavors, balanced acidity, dry and lingering finish. Excellent with tuna or green salad, pasta, spicy Asian dishes.

Tinto Figaro, 2009, $6.95

Calatayud, Spain

Figaro is 100% Garnacha, made from a selection of the best grapes grown in the oldest vineyards. While not truly an “oaked wine”, a short stay in oak barrels provides a nice spicy flavor boost. Bright violet. Dark berry and cherry aromas show a jammy aspect. Supple and gently sweet, with good lift to its black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. Smooth and broad on the finish, leaving behind a hint of spiciness. Extremely easy to drink and an excellent value.

Domaine de Grange de Payan, 2011, $8.95

Côtes du Rhône, France

Intensely spicy and precise, with lively red berry flavors and a hint of black pepper. The Grenache, which makes up the majority of the wine, is deeper and more powerful, offering cherry and black raspberry qualities lifted by zesty minerality.

Potluck Sweet Malbec, 2010, $7.95

Mendoza, Argentina

Deep red brilliant with violet hints. Complex, fruity, and predominant red fruits. Easy to drink, round with persistent sweetness, very well balanced with sweet tannins.

Zeppoli’s Blind Tasting *TONIGHT*

Hey guys,

There are still some spots open for tonight’s wine tasting at Zeppoli’s!

There will be tastings at 6:00 PM and 8:15 PM and it will cost 16.64 with tax!!! How can you turn a deal like that down?

You will be tasting 10 different wines: 5 house wines vs. 5 comparable ones, and you get to decide who wins!

The food will be heavy hors d’oeuvres: cheese tray, house salad, italian bread, caresse salad, mini chicken parmesan, and mini manicotti.

If you don’t have dinner plans I highly recommend you go! And if you do have dinner plans, I highly recommend you cancel and go to Zeppoli’s instead!

VC tasting 2-28-13

Hey guys,

Here’s the tasting selection for this week at the Vintage Cellar. Enjoy!


Dibon Cava Brut Reserve NV, $9.95

Penedes, Spain

45% Macabeo, 25% Xarel-lo, 30% Parellada

Light gold with plenty of bubbles, this wine has aromas of apples and pears with pleasant floral notes. Crisp and light-bodied on the palate, stone fruit flavors are accompanied by a mild minerality and balanced acidity. A delicious sparkler for a great price!


Villa d’ Orvieto, 2011, $6.95


It’s a blend of Grechetto, Procanico (Trebbiano), and Malvasia. Fresh and crisp, it has a beautiful, floral bouquet. It is wonderful with appetizers, fish, chicken, and salads.


Maipe Chardonnay, 2012, $7.95

Mendoza, Argentina

Made from 85% Chardonnay, 15% Viognier. 30% malolactic fermentation, 30% was aged in French oak barrels.

Brilliant yellow golden color with green hints. The wine is crisp and filled with white peach, pear, green apples flavors, toasty vanilla. Elegant and luscious wine, well balanced. Crisp and long finish. Pairs well with creamy soups, pork, veal, vegetables.


Cortenova Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2010, $6.95


100% Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo

Deep ruby red color with violet highlights and a pleasant and fruity bouquet. Full bodied, soft tannins and good acidity. Excellent with pasta dishes and red meats.


Monte Aman, 2009, $5.95

Arlanza, Spain

100% Tempranillo.

Fermentation of selected grapes in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature. Aging in American oak casks for 5 months followed by 3 months in the bottle before being released in the market. Inky ruby. Ripe cherry and plum on the nose. Smooth and fleshy, with deep dark fruit flavors complicated by bitter chocolate and anise. A spicy quality adds lift and focus to the weighty fruit. Offers an appealing mix of power and energy and drinks very well right now.


VC tasting 2-21-13

Hey guys,

Here’s the tasting selection for this week at the Vintage Cellar. Enjoy! Also, if you’re free this weekend why not drive over to Richmond for the Virginia Wine Expo?


Les Perles Piquepoul, 2011, $7.95

Cotes de Thau, France

Light and young, this is a straightforward but enjoyable selection that would be an ideal match for light fare such as grilled chicken salads or fluke. Apple flesh, nectarine, and sweet citrus oil aromas and flavors appear on the nose and palate, while the short finish is infused with a flavor of green melon rind.


Tres Ojos Rose, 2009, $3.95

Calatayud, Spain

50%Tempranillo 50% Garnacha
This medium rose-colored rosado boasts a spicy red cherry/plum nose with a soft lush attack of red berry fruit flavors and a crisp dry finish. Simple and refreshing and a natural for tapas.


Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola, 2010, $8.95

Sicily, Italy

Very dark purple, with a reddish-violet edge, typical of this grape. Black plums, a hint of licorice and subtle spice, not overly complex but appealing. A big mouth full of juicy black fruit is well structured by tart acidity and soft but distinct tannins.


Lost Vineyards Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon, NV, $3.95


60% Shiraz 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
It is dry and contains subtle tobacco undertones with a black licorice, cherry, scent. The oak is in the background. Would pair well with hamburger or a steak rather than stand alone.


Morada Sangria, NV, $4.95


Morada Sangria is a traditional Spanish drink made with red wine and citrus extracts. Garnet color and fresh on the palate. Pasteurization preserves the color, aromas and flavors. 7% Alc. It is a very refreshing Sangria with around 85 grams of sugar. Sangria is now one of the hottest items in the beverage industry and it’s growing exponentially year to year. Serve well chilled, on its own or with lemonade and slices of fruit like peach, banana or apple.