Decoding A Wine Label

 

With language barriers, hundreds of wine varietals, and various vineyards within a wine region, reading a wine label can be difficult. Typically, a wine bottle will have one specific focal point that tells you a little bit about what you are going to drink. To make things simpler, let’s break down the three basic categories on how to understand and skim a wine label so that you are more prepared for your next wine-shopping spree. A wine bottle will usually have one of the three following aspects on the label…

(1)  Wine type or varietal

(2)  Region

(3)  Wine name

Currently, Meza has some amazing wines on our glass pour list that can help you with wine label presentation. I have included the pictures of the wines and their tasting notes so that the next time you stop into Meza you are more than prepared to have a glass.

(1)  Allamand Malbec

 

As you can see by the label, this wine specifies that it is a Malbec, which falls under category one.

What makes this wine so amazing are the notes of plum and blackberry and hints of smoke. This wine has little to no tannins but has an intriguing finish that will make you wishing you had more.  

(2)  Roux Pere & Fils (Chardonnay)

 

This wine label falls under category two, meaning that the wine label specifies what region it originated. Macon-Villages is an appellation from southern Burgundy (France).

Currently, this wine is one of my favorite whites that we have at the shop. Although you would not know this from looking at the label, the grape is Chardonnay. This Chardonnay has notes of lemon zest with a smooth, fuller finish. Since this Chardonnay is from France, the wine is not oaky but has a slight buttery finish.

(3)  Baci Dolci

 

Baci Dolci, which means Sweet Kiss, is the name of the wine (category three).

If you like sweet, refreshing red wines, this will be the perfect wine for you. This wine has a bit of effervescence, which makes it light and enjoyable. The wine has hints of raspberry and lighter red fruits, with a nose of rose pedals. If you are looking for something different and on the lighter side, I would definitely suggest trying this sweet red.

                        Cheers!!

                        Hannah Clark

Wine Inspired Bridal Showers Make Throwing A Shower Stress Free

Bridal showers can be super intimidating when you are the one in charge of making it a memorable and fun occasion for everyone attending. We happen to be pretty well versed in entertaining groups of soon to be new family members and friends and making the occasion fun and easy. Our motto is that if there is wine involved, its sure to be a good time!

Meza is great as a mingling space, which is exactly what you want guests at a shower to do as they are getting to know each other. We offer private wine tastings as an option for a shower activity, or we can assist you in chosing wines to serve by the bottle to guests. You can leave the wine up to us - we pull together crowd pleasing wine offerings, everything from reds and whites to bubbles and even a mimosa bar!

Decorations may be brought in but we think simple is best- a few simple centerpieces or a pretty banner may do the trick.  The two larger tables may be used for seating but we have also had guests utilize those for gifts or for group crafts (we also host baby showers and onesie decorating is a great way to get people engaged with out having to do a traditional baby shower game).

When it comes to gifts, lots of people feel like gift giving straight from the registry is easy and the way to ensure your bride is getting everything she was hoping for. However some of us like to add a personal touch. For the couple that loves wine, adding bottles to a "wine registry" for guests to chose from is  a great way to get them started with a nice wine collection. Or we can help you chose a special bottle that would be perfect to open on an anniversary. 

With spring on the horizon, there are lots of weddings popping up on the calendar! Make the shower portion of the festivities as low stress as possible and give Meza a call. Leave the planning (and the wine) to us!  When there is good wine and everyone is at ease, your guests are sure to have a good time!

 

Vanguard Wines Mini Portfolio Show - Wine Club Member Featured Event

We had a great weekend at the shop, largely in part to our wine club special event on Saturday! For those that are regulars, you know we typically do tastings on Friday nights, but we wanted to offer something special with a focus on our wine club members. It was such a fun time and the line up was amazing, so it is absolutely something we will repeat!

As wine professionals we get invited to trade shows put on by our various distributors to taste the wines in their portfolios. This is a big part of how we decide what we sell at the shop!

We wanted to bring a similar experience to our customers by letting you try a bigger selection of wines in various styles and price points, from all over the world, so we brought in Matt Conner from Vanguard Distribution to pour and educate! He featured 15 wines ranging from bubbles to Barbaresco to Brown Zin! We opened this event to the public ($25/person) but were able to offer a special price to our wine club members of $15/person. They got to taste some amazing, small production, truly special wines for $1 per pour. 

It was a great time and we can't wait to host another special Saturday event again in the near future! Follow us on FB and IG to get updates on our upcoming events! Interested in joining us and starting your own wine club adventure? Call us today to sign up and get started!

Cheers!

Tatjana

The Job of a Wine Buyer - Value Showdown

As a small business, one of the perks of my job is that I don't have the big "corporate hand" guiding my decisions, in particular when it comes to what we carry on our shelves. We can do whatever fits our brand and makes the most sense for our shop and our customers. 

We pride ourselves on carrying wine that isn't uber mass marketed ( you can find a lot of the wines we carry at other stores near us but you probably won't see giant displays and iron ponies and other crazy fanfare around them). It's our job to take the wines that don't have a huge marketing budget behind them, taste, find the best wine for the money, and tell their "story" to you. It's our job to be their billboard or fancy display. 

In an effort to shake things up a bit and really take a stand for value, we have decided on a new value challenge! Over the next two weeks I am going to be tasting (i know, i know....its a tough job but someone has to do it), many wines in the $7 - $14 range. We will be stripping our value racks clean and launching a whole new program of value wines that fit the bill. 

Criteria will be wines that deliver flavor, are varietally correct (meaning they taste like what they are suppose to taste like), and hold up after they are opened. Wines that WOW! Because we could all use a few extra dollars in our pockets and we all want to drink wine - am I right?? We will make our selections and our entire staff will taste and become familiarized with these wines to better serve you. You won'f find that to be the case in any big box stores I can assure you. 

We will unveil our new line up of value wines Oct 1! Stay tuned! In the mean time.... I need to get to tasting. 

Cheers!

Tatjana

Back to School Seasonal Wine Selections

I just took my daughter to school for her first day. It doesn't feel like summer is over but its certainly heading that way. We do have to get back to some structure and routine, but I am not ready to let go of summer just yet, which means I plan to grill out and enjoy nights around the fire pit and eating dinner on the deck as much as I can.

My wine drinking is as seasonal as my wardrobe. When its warm I crave crisp, bright whites. But after drinking white and rose all summer, I start wanting wines with a bit more weight to them. Bigger, richer whites and soft, easy to drink reds. I know tons of people that drink red wine all year round, and good for them - "you do you"as they say...but the thought of a big heavy glass of Cab in August is just not my jam. Right now I am craving the soft, juicy reds with lighter tannins and soft hints of spice, or creamy Chards and the round fruit of a Viognier. 

So for those that like to drink with the seasons along with me, here are a few of my end of summer, transitional wines that are striking a cord with me. 

H & M Hofer Zweigelt $18

I love this wine! Comes in the same pop top - 1 liter bottle as our favorite Gruner and it is the perfect transition wine for end of summer. Great with grilled foods or bbq sauce - its juicy and plush with some savory notes. 

Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir $13

I am kind of wowed by this great value Pinot from France! It is just the right balance of fruity and earthy and just a killer everyday value!!

Talley Chardonnay $25

Pretty much my favorite Chardonnay in house. I love this balanced style and while it is not big and oaky it has the weight and richness that I love along with good acid.

Batasiolo Gavi $16

Italian white wines are my love language. This Gavi is so pretty - fruit forward with hints of citrus and stone fruit and almond. 

Next time you start getting sad about the ending of another summer season, snag a bottle of one of these delicious wines and fire up the grill for dinner. Kick back and relax - kids are finally back in school!

Cheers! Tatjana

Want more ideas on what to drink? Follow mezawineshop on IG for posts on whats new on the shelves and what our staff is drinking!

So Many Wines.....How Do We Chose?

Customers are always amazed when I tell them that all of the wines on the shelves at Meza are hand-picked by shop owner/wine buyer, Tatjana Brown.  How is she able to do that?? Sounds like a fun but daunting task.  One way she is able to do it is by attending portfolio shows put on by our distributors and that is just what she did today. (Staff members are pretty lucky because we get to go along and taste and learn as well!)

Most of the Meza family attended the Vanguard Wines 2016 Annual Portfolio Tasting where there were 82 tables of wines to taste.  Most tables had a minimum of 2-3 wines and some had as many as 10 wines.  Yep, that is a lot of wine! So how do we choose wines that we want to bring in and share with our customers?

Upon arrival we get a book with all of the wines listed by table.  There is a description of the winery and all of the wines listed including prices.  We typically try to taste new wines, ones that we don’t currently have on the shelf.  If there are employees attending who haven’t tasted a certain wine that we do carry and then Tatjana encourages us to taste those wines so we are better able to describe and recommend them to you!  We all take notes and compare them after the show with the wines that rise to the top making it onto the shelves.  It is a great way to also find special wines for wine club, holiday tastings and other special occasions.

We tasted wines from all over the world including Spain, France, Italy, Argentina, California and Oregon.  Do you want to do your own version of a portfolio tasting?  Join one of Meza's four monthly wine club tiers. 

Cheers! Yvonne

 

 

Meza Community Post: Art & Wine, with a Focus on Local

Art and wine truly do seem to go hand in hand. Or at least, the wine can make the art flow a bit more!

At Meza we love to really solidify that connection. Twice monthly we co host Sip & Sketch, an art and wine event, with the Arts Council of Westerville. With so many varrious "wine and canvas" events available right now that are growing in popularity, we love that we can offer something a bit different. Sip & Sketch offers the unique twist of utilizing various local artists and art teachers from the Westerville area to teach the classes - and each class is a bit different. One week you may be using pastels, the next acrylic paint. The artist offers up a variety of "inspiration" pieces and offers help with technique - and no one leaves with an identical piece of art work! Each piece is truly unique. 

Cost of the class is $25 - which includes the materials, class and 2 glasses of vino to enjoy while you sketch! That's one of the most affordable events of this type in town. Its such a great way to kick back and relax and take your mind off things while you sip wine and create art. Looking to register for an upcoming event? Just call us at 614.259.3101 to be added to the schedule. We also offer private classes for groups of 10 or more! A great way to celebrate a birthday, kick off a night of Bachelorette festivities or to utilize as a team building event for your group at the office. 

The connection to the artistic world is not foreign to Westerville. Coming up next month (July 8-10)  is the Westerville Music & Arts Festival, an annual community event that features over 150 local artists, food vendors and live entertainment. The Music & Arts Fest is held at Heritage Park (Everal Barn) with an exciting twist this year - the Friday evening portion will be held in Uptown! There will be a special music and arts showcase with a reception at Old Bag of Nails just a few doors North of Meza. Stroll the street and check out some amazing local art work, and stop by Meza Wine Shop for our Friday night wine tasting!

Check out the website for the Music & Arts Fest below - such a cool way to spend a summer weekend!

http://www.westervillechamber.com/events/details/2016-westerville-music-arts-festival-2409

Cheers!

Tatjana

 

Meza Travels: Willamette Valley - Highlight on Chehalem Winery

For those of you who have been following along on Instagram, Jason and I had the opportunity for a short but much needed getaway to Oregon Wine Country! It has been on our list for a while and we finally decided to make it happen. We have been to Napa/Sonoma before and we just love Sonoma, but Oregon  has earned a special place in our hearts! Such nice and friendly people and a very laid back, non pretentious approach to wine. In fact I can't think of one stop we made where we felt any sort of pretense ( which can happen in the wine world). 

We were able to stay at the lovely guest house at Chehalem ( a comfy and breezy craftsman style house where vineyard interns stay during harvest), and had an awesome experience with their wines. We met with Jon Foster, from the Chehalem team, for a tasting and tour of the winery, and got to walk through and explore the vineyard ourselves. We briefly got to meet owner Harry Peterson -Nedry and his daughter Wynn Peterson - Nedry  who is now the wine maker - both nothing but friendly and gracious. 

First and foremost, one of the most impressive things about the winery was its commitment to sustainability. Chehalem is LIVE Certified ( Low Imput Viticulture and Eonology) and a participant in Carbon Neutral Challenge. You will find solar panels in the vineyard that provides some degree of their power. All weed control is done by hand - no chemicals. You can tell from looking at the site that the vines are growing in a very healthy, thriving environment. I think you cannot help but feel good about what you are consuming when it's made in this manner. I am always a little perplexed when people spend so much time thinking about eating fresh, organic food but don't think of the wine they consume in the same manner. 

On to the wines themselves! We have for quite some time stocked the Chehalem Three Vineyard Pinot Noir - their largest distributed Pinot. We were able to taste some of their gorgeous white wines as well, from their Coral Creek Vineyard Riesling that was juicy and crisp and mineral driven to their Ridgecrest Vineyard Gruner Veltliner that had a freshness and brightness to it but was also a slightly more complex, richer style than some Gruners.  The Pinot Gris also stood out due to its richer, Alsatian style.

Fruit is sourced from three vineyard sites - Coral Creek vineyard which surrounds the winery (what is pictured here).  Stoller Vineyard featured Jory Soil ( a term we heard often in this area), a red volcanic soil that lends itself to Pinot Noir that has both a balance of fruit and earthiness. Finally Ridgecrest Vineyard, known for producing richer, briary style of Pinot Noir  due to its silt and sandstone soils is the last of the three vineyards utilized. 

We loved our experience and the wines of Chehalem, and loved the laid back, friendly, and inviting nature of the people we met. Always makes me feel like I am at home or at Meza when I talk to people from a winery and they really have a team and family focus and mentality. 

Look for more offerings from Chehalem to be hitting the shelves at Meza soon! Stay tuned for our recap of other wineries we visited and our tips on exploring the Willamette Valley!

Cheers!

Tatjana

On Southern Italian Wine and Breaking Out of our Comfort Zone

I just gave our team a little homework this week, and if you know me, the homework for the shop is always enjoyable. After all, it involves drinking wine!

I was putting together our wine club packs for this month which feature wines from Southern Italy, mainly Campania and Puglia. We have so many red lovers on our team and I thought, this is a great option for them to learn a little more about this region and to enjoy wines that fit their palate. We all get stuck in a comfort zone with lots of things in life....the food we eat, with our workouts, with our personal style. Same goes with wine. Its so easy to grab a bottle of Cabernet because we know what it is and we see it everywhere. We may gravitate towards a Zinfandel - now knowing how similar (and related) a Primitivo is. Its my job to get people drinking outside of the box and learning about wine and thats totally what we are doing this week!

Next time you head into the wine shop or to your local wine retailer, ask a couple questions and have the staff find you something new. Its fun and interesting and there is something so cool about tasting a wine from half way across the world and learning about it that makes you feel like maybe you would want to go there someday.  If you don't have time for all that jazz and you live locally, then hit us up about wine club and get the adventure chosen for you each month. Trust us, you will be pleasantly surprised at how your palate and your list of favorite wines grows.

Cheers!

Tatjana