Madison Yoga Teacher Launches Online Wine Store

A few years ago, retreats merging wine, yoga and chocolate popped up around the country, led by yoga guru David Romanelli. Angela Gargano – owner of Bliss Flow Yoga & Wellness Center in Madison – was in on those sweet times too. Now, she’s launched an online wine boutique called Angels + Thieves Wines that focuses on craft wines, many boasting rare grape varietals. Each winery represented has a multi-layered, unique history, produces small quantities and, as Gargano puts it, expresses its terroir quite well. This month the online boutique opens for business. WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK What’s better than lake…

A Peek at Kohler’s Food + Wine Experience

Each fall I look forward to a drive up to Kohler for a wine-soaked weekend. It’s called Kohler’s Food & Wine Experience. And you don’t have to trek to Vegas, New York City or California – nope, not even Chicago – for a five-star wine-geek experience. This is where, Michelle Bernstein taught me how to make ceviche, I learned why it’s very important to sip out of crystal glassware, and a member of the Beringer family got me to understand how biodynamic and organic grape-growing differs. Among the highlights at this year’s Food & Wine Experience (Oct. 17-20), hosted at…

Grape Stompin’ in Cedarburg This Weekend

In lieu of a flight to California to experience harvest season, all you have to do is head north up I-43 … to Cedarburg. This weekend is the 41st annual Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival, complete with grape stomps and wine tastings. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s a kaleidoscope of senses that go well beyond wine. Such as: aromas of grilled apple brats and corn, the chop-chop sounds of knives during cooking demos at the Fundamental Kitchen, a pumpkin weigh-off and plenty of live music. Arts on…

Milwaukee Film Festival’s Wine-Themed Flick

For wine enthusiasts, the Holy Grail is studying for – and passing – the Master Sommelier test. It’s a rigorous exam consisting of four levels, which is why there are currently only 134 Master Sommeliers in the country (just 19 are women). Worldwide, only 211 candidates have achieved the title. So far, none are in Wisconsin although many wine professionals in the state are in the process of studying for the exam. Somm is a 2012 documentary inside the process of taking this exam. (In short, it’s not all flutes of celebratory Champagne!) And the film is showing in Milwaukee…

Pizza Man’s Perfect Wine List

When a friend suggested we dine out in celebration of her birthday, suddenly we had a reason to check out Pizza Man’s brand-new Downer Avenue location. Arriving at 5 p.m. – reservations are only taken for groups of eight or more – on a Saturday night we were greeted with a half-hour wait, ascending to the upstairs level where sunlight pours in via an open garage door and a stunning patio. Settling into the bar, I couldn’t get my hands on the binder (a.k.a. Amazing Wine List) fast enough. Eighty-five wines are available by the glass – and 600 bottle…

Wine Spots for Harley Riders

The patio at Iron Horse Hotel There’s a lot of shiny metal and engine revving all week and into the weekend for Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary party. Whether you’re a Harley rider or simply lust after the hogs, here are a few spots where you can pull up and admire the bikes – and soon have a glass of wine in hand. Each of these eateries boasts a wine list and has pledged to roll out the proverbial red carpet for Harley enthusiasts. The Eatery on Farwell (East Side): Not only is there a commemorative sandwich (“The Hog,” with pork belly,…

Wine Adirondack Chairs and the Calatrava

Photo by Kristine Hansen While out on a bicycle ride last Saturday, we circled behind Harbor House, expecting to continue south on Lincoln Memorial Drive, with the glittering waters of Lake Michigan on our right, sailboats bobbing in the breeze. “Hey, how about I buy you a glass of wine?” my fiancé said as we approached the patio at this swanky restaurant where previously we’ve dined. The patio, however, is a hidden gem. We parked our bikes, stripped off our helmets and sunk into two white Adirondack chairs. With an unobstructed view of Santiago Calatrava’s first North American commission (the…

Under- 10 Pitch-Perfect Pinot Noirs

It might seem like urban legend but there really are value-priced California Pinot Noirs that taste just as good as a Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon, or Burgundy, France, might. Recently I opened up two such examples. 2012 Line 39 Pinot Noir (Central Coast, California, $10) has a little bit of heat (spices) that compliments the strawberry bouquet and raspberry notes well, yet it also embraces sweet cocoa notes and a silky profile concluding with soft, supple tannins. (cecchettiwineco.com) 2011 Redtree Pinot Noir (California, $9) expresses cherry notes and a fruit-forward, low-bodied profile packed with black pepper emerging towards…

Splurge-worthy Reds

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.  For the right occasion, you might want to spend more than a bucks on a bottle of wine. The problem creeps in when you don’t have enough experience drinking wines in that price range. Without that experience you could be lured in by a beautiful bottle, a wine critic’s high score or something else that has little to do with your personal palate. Here are three red wines I’ve recently uncorked and highly recommend. The 2010 Wild Horse Winery & Vineyard’s Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley, California, $60) is a dry-style Pinot Noir with…

Pizza Man’s Wine List

Milwaukee’s most famous pizzeria – which perished in a five-alarm fire in 2010– reopened in a new location along Downer Avenue this week. Like the previous location, Pizza Man’s wine list is top-notch. From light and refreshing Viognier to sultry Ports, there’s something to pair with every topping. Six sparkling-wine choices are also on the menu and a perennial pizza-friendly wine – Zinfandel – offers 19 selections, including ones from Turley Wine Cellars, Seghesio Family Vineyards and Ridge Vineyards. WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK Buy one, get one free for a glass of house wine at The Chancery in Mequon…