First off, know that I have not seen a single episode of “Duck Dynasty,” which follows the Robertson family’s West Monroe, La., business (Duck Commander) that specializes in making duck-hunting products. But because I’m not living under a rock, I do know this A&E reality-television show has skyrocketed into popularity. Naturally, any hit television show deserves a wine vintage. (See last week’s Wine Notes column.)
A few weeks ago, a press release floated into my inbox, announcing that the Robertson family had partnered with Napa Valley’s Trinchero Family Estates to develop wines. Labeled Duck Commander Wines, the wines include 2011 Triple Threat Red Blend, 2012 Wood Duck Chardonnay and 2012 Miss Priss Pink Moscato. Lest you think the couple simply slapped their name on the label, they actually visited the winery last month to eat dinner with the Trincheros, tour the bottling line, taste from the barrels and host a happy-hour reception at the winery.
To learn more, visit this link on Trinchero Family Estates’ website. The wines can be bought at WalMart stores in Wisconsin.
WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK
It’s that most wonderful time of the year when you must ponder what bottles to uncork for the holidays. Thief Wine Shop & Bar is poised to help you shave dollars off the mundane process of buying bottles of wine only to find out they are lackluster. On Tuesday, Dec. 17 (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Milwaukee Public Market) and Wednesday, Dec. 18 (6 p.m.-9 p.m. at Shorewood) the “An Eclectic Holiday Sampler” tasting dives into winter-holiday appropriate wines to pair with rich foods. There’s no flat fee here. Numerous bottles will be opened and ready for sampling. Just a small price per pour and you get to decide what you want to sip. No RSVP required.
WINE EVENT OF THE WEEK
Here’s one to add to your 2014 calendar. On Jan. 11 the Milwaukee County Zoo transforms into an elegant evening when, starting at 3 p.m., the Zoofari Conference Center hosts a walk-around wine tasting. (Attendees can actually pick from two time slots: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Five different cheeses will be hand-picked for pairings and a DJ will be on deck to spin some tunes. Tickets cost $46 but don’t wait. Last year’s tasting attracted 400 people and sold out. To make sure you don’t miss out, sign up online.
WINE OF THE WEEK
As promised in last week’s Wine Notes column, I am happy to recommend yet another brunch-friendly wine. (Feel free to modify into a Mimosa by adding orange juice.) Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut (Spain, $12) – which, by the way, comes in a mod black bottle – delivers nice effervescence and a sparkle on the palate with apple and pear notes that ease into a long finish. Three grapes are blended into the wine: Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. It’s continually awarded high points from wine critics and the latest release is no exception. Special note: This winery turns 100 in 2014. (freixenetusa.com)