All Day Sparkling Wine Tasting

For our last tasting of 2011, it will be nothing but bubbles!

Small family estate sparkling wines and small-batch handmade truffles – anyone interested yet?  Join us on Saturday, December 31 as we close out 2011 in style.  We’ll pour the bubbles all day long with great by the glass prices on all of them, and Barb and Les Norman of Blue Moon Chocolatier will join us from 2 to 5.  Thus, you’ll have the chance to “try before you buy” six sparkling wines and two different types of truffles – you can’t beat that with a stick!  All of the wines will also be offered by the glass at great prices, so feel free to bring your own caviar, Beluga or Ossetra is preferred…….hah!

Table Wine - New Year's Eve Sparkling Wine Tasting

We'll provide the bubbles, you provide the caviar........hah!

A little background on Blue Moon Chocolatiers and the Normans.  Les and Barb recently relocated to Asheville from Washington, D.C. where they previously owned and operated a wine shop, a restaurant, and obviously a truffle-making operation.  Barb’s truffles received very favorable reviews from the Washington Post and Washington Magazine, and if I were you, I would get to the store early before the free samples run out!  You couldn’t meet a nicer couple, and we look forward to working with them in 2012 to create great menus for our wine dinners and great treats for you all!


Holiday Hours and New Year’s Vacation

We’d hate for you to make a trip to the store, only to find it closed, so please read this carefully.

For Christmas week-end, we will close at  5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed both Christmas Day and December 26. We will reopen at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 26.

For New Year’s week-end, we will maintain regular hours, closing at 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.  The store will then be closed from January 1 through January 9, reopening on Tuesday, January 10.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and many blessings in 2012!

Great Gift Ideas, Table Wine Style

Are you all ready stressing about what to buy your oenophile friend or family member for Christmas? Stop fretting, as we’ve got a few great ideas for you.  We don’t stock much in the way of lavish wine accessories, but we do offer many options and we can be creative.  Take a look at some of our best gift ideas.

1. Personalized Wine Gifts – Buy them a themed case or even just a few bottles of wine (all France, all Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.), and we’ll wrap each bottle with a sheet with a description of each wine and food pairing suggestions.  We don’t charge extra for this either!

2. Grape Nuts Membership – Sign them up to become a Grape Nut, Table Wine’s tasting group and loyalty program.  It’s just $25 for a 12 month membership and the incentives are many.  For more details, click here.

3. Gift Certificates – Of course we sell gift certificates and you can get them in any denomination you’d like. They’re old fashioned paper gift certificates, but they look good and they require little or no brain drainage on your part – let your friend decide what they want armed with a Table Wine gift certificate.

4. Give The Gift of Massage – My sweet and lovely wife Lynn has magic hands………and elbows for those who like a deeper massage!  She charges $70 per hour and gift certificates can be purchased at the store (cash or check only please) or you can reach her at 828.606.6600 or viaher email at

4. An Expensive Bottle of Wine – It never hurts to be suggestive!  I know the name of the store is Table Wine, but our motto is that any bottle of wine, regardless of price, can be enjoyed at a table.

Holiday Wine Tasting – Part 2

At Table Wine, we feel that one of the best ways to put yourself into the holiday spirit is to drink wine.  We hope you concur and can join us at our South Asheville location on Thursday, December 8 for our second holiday-themed tasting.  This one will include 20 wines to try, light palate cleansers and a bunch of happy and jolly folks.  There will be a slight emphasis on sparkling wines, including some real-deal Champagnes, but if you’re not into the bubbles, we’ll have plenty of “still” wines to offer you as well.

The fun gets started at 7:00 p.m. and runs until 9:00.  Don’t miss it!

All Day Christmas Eve Eve Tasting

Read the title carefully here folks, as this soiree takes place on Christmas Eve Eve, aka Friday, December 23. Festivities get started at 11 a.m. sharp and run until we close at 7:00 p.m and it’s free to all.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Be sure to wear your ugliest Christmas sweater.

With many of our customers having kids, we felt that the Friday date would work a lot better than Christmas Eve when many attend church services.  Wear your best Christmas sweater, and get ready for non-stop wine tasting accompanied by the Pandora Christmas station.  As I like to say, BRING IT!

Friday Winedown – Exploring California’s Central Coast

California’s Central Coast region stretches about 250 miles from San Francisco County in the north to Santa Barbara in the south.  There are hundreds of wineries within this wide area, but a few are consistently recognized as the cream of the crop – we’ll be tasting wines from them!

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive in the cooler regions of the Central Coast while Zinfandel, Cabernet and Rhone varieties dominate in the warmer zones.  We’ll try all of these and more as we take a virtual tour of one of my favorite winegrowing regions in California.  
Join us on Friday, December 16 from 4 to 7 p.m.  The lovely Anne Kaufmann of The Country Vintner will join us to pour these wines, and the cost for the tasting is $5 per person or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.
Josh Jensen - Calera Pinot Noir Vineyards

Josh Jensen of Calera in his vineyards.

Here’s the lineup:

1. Tangent Sauvignon Blanc “Paragon Vineyard” – Located in Edna Valley, Tangent is owned and operated by the Niven family, who also own Baileyana.  Their Sauvignon Blanc vineyards average 30 to 40 years of age, making them some of the oldest in the state.  This is super clean and zesty, with lovely melon, passion fruit and pear aromas and flavors.

2. Talbott “Kali Hart” Chardonnay – Rob Talbott named this wine after his youngest child.  It is 100% Sleepy Hollow fruit that sees 90% stainless steel fermentation and 10% barrel fermentation.  It is one of the top selling Chardonnays in the store, and I think once you taste it, you’ll understand why.

3. Calera Vigonier – Calera’s Josh Jensen started his winery over 35 years ago and today, he is considered a California icon.  His Viognier offers up lovely aromatics of honeysuckle, peach and apricot nectar, leading into an energetic palate of orchard fruits, citrus and mineral.

4. Calera Pinot Noir – Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate called this wine “the single finest value in American Pinot Noir”.  I concur and am proud to share it with you.

5. Talbott Pinot Noir “Sleepy Hollow Vineyard” – Talbott makes a slightly “larger framed”, jammy style of Pinot Noir, relative to the Calera.  This one shows nice concentration to the cherry and raspberry fruit, with complex herbs and spices on the finish.

6. Melville Syrah – The Melville family are considered one of the Central Coast’s top grape growing families and with Greg Brewer making their wines, they can do no wrong.  This is a rich and hearty red wine with ripe berry fruit up front – behind this fruit are complex notes of olive, peppery spice and violet. Cooking lamb anytime soon?  This would work wonderfully!

7. Cinnabar Mercury Rising Red Blend – This is a big mouthful of wine perfect for drinking with or without food.  Most of Cinnabar’s vineyards are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and their Mercury Rising Blend is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon.  With lots of body and a creamy texture, this wine really shines with ripe black cherry, plum, vanilla and spicy oak notes.

8. Ancient Peaks Zinfandel – Many of you have all ready tried this estate’s Cab and Renegade Red Blend – get ready for the wine that put them on the map.  Made entirely with fruit from Ancient Peak’s Margarita Vineyard, this is ripe, jammy and loaded with cherry liqueur, blueberry, pie crust and vanilla notes.

Holiday Wine Buying Tips

With this being the busiest selling time of the year for most wine merchants, it’s a guarantee that many wines will sell out on any given day, even though we think we are amply stocked.  We’d hate for you to stop by the store only to have your favorite wine empty on the shelf – follow these simple rules to make sure you’re drinking what you want to be drinking this holiday season.


Holiday Wine Buying Advice
Read this, so you don’t get like this!

1. Shop early and shop early in the week – That way, if we’re out of something, we have plenty of time to order it in for later in the week.  Most of our distributors make deliveries 2 to 4 times per week, so we can have most wines back in stock within 3 days at the most.  As long as you place your order(s) by Wednesday and as long as the distributor has the wine in stock, we’ll have it here in time for the week end, for Christmas dinner, or for New Year’s Eve.

2. Special Orders – Just because we don’t stock your favorite wine doesn’t mean we can’t get it for you.  Even better, through the end of December, we’re offering a 20% discount on any special ordered (non-stock) solid cases of wine.  You don’t have to order a solid case, as most wines can be shipped in any quantity you’d like.

3. Be Flexible – If we’re out of something, don’t freak out please.  Maybe it’s time to try something new, and your local wine merchant should be able to point you in the direction of a wine with similar traits to the one they’re out of.  Try something new – you might be surprised!

3. Gift Wrapping – We offer free gift wrapping on all wines and accessories, but it is wise to give us plenty of time to get this done.  For example, if you’re buying 30 to 60 bottles of wine and want them all gift wrapped, it is wise to call us the day before you need to pick your order up.

4. Shipping Wine – We have a license to ship wine to all states that allow it, and we’re glad to offer this service to you.  Remember that this is also the busiest shipping season of the year for UPS and Fedex, so it is a good idea to plan on your shipment taking 2 to 3 days to arrive to its destination.

5. Gift Certificates – We offer gift certificates in any amount and we’ll be glad to mail them for you!

So there you go – advice from a 14 year wine industry veteran to ensure happy drinking during the holiday season!


Friday Winedown – Australia and New Zealand

The wines of New Zealand and Australia are a bit like Rodney Dangerfield – they’re getting no respect these days!  That’s a shame, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to the awful, factory made wines that you see in the big chain stores.

I promise you we won’t be sampling anything like that this Friday at our first Winedown of December.  Instead, we’ll sample six real-deal, highly rated, hand crafted wines that will make you forget about critter labels.  Join us from 4 to 7 p.m. this Friday, December 1 – the cost is $5 per person or free if you’re a Grape Nut.

Yellow Tail is crap!

We will not be pouring any of these!

Here’s the lineup:

1. 2010 Walnut Block Sauvignon Blanc – From a single vineyard located in the Wairau River Valley of Marlborough, this is textbook Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc at a great price.  Strong aromas of grapefruit and tropical fruits lead into an exotic palate of grapefruit zest, kiwi and pineapple.
89 points – Stephen Tanzer 

2. 2010 Milton Park Chardonnay – Milton Park is the entry level label from Thorn-Clarke – that’s the same family that makes the big liter of Shiraz that we sell tons of.  The Wine Advocatesaid that “for $13, it is harder to find a better Chardonnay”.  See what you think. 

3. 2008 Amisfield Pinot Noir – Established in just 1999, this is one of New Zealand’s hottest young producers. Located in the Otago district on New Zealand’s south island, they specialize in Pinot Noir, and they are all ready winning lots of awards and getting great press.
93 points – Wine Spectator – Highly Recommended 

4. 2007 Small Gully Cab/Shiraz “The Formula” – This is 100% classic Barossa – big, rich and spicy, it is a blend of 51% Cab and 49% Shiraz.  There is nothing shy, subtle or understated about this wine, and I love it all the more for it’s overt personality. 

5. 2007 Shinas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “The Verdict” – George Shinas used to be a judge, but now he makes wine from his vineyards located in Australia’s Victoria region.  Do you have a lawyer friend or family member whom you’d like to buy a bottle of wine for?  This is the one – it’s big, rich, high octane juice aged in French oak for a whopping 30 months, and it’s guaranteed to please.

6. 2009 Shinas Estate Shiraz “The Guilty” – How could we not finish up with a big, rich Shiraz?  From a single vineyard owned by George Shinas, this is always one of the winery’s first wines to sell out.  The vines date back to 1898 (that’s old!) and the wine is all voluptuous blueberry, raspberry, spice and smoke.  Yum!

Thanksgiving Eve All Day Wine Tasting

We pride ourselves on being a great community gathering spot in South Asheville, and we’ve got something great planned for Thanksgiving Eve. What better way to get your holiday festivities off to a good start than by stopping by Table Wine on Wednesday, November  23 for a sampling of 8 delicious wines that taste good with or without turkey?  We’ll start pouring wines right at 11:00 am and we won’t stop until we close at 7:00 p.m.  The tasting is free and all of the wines will be offered by the glass as well.  Bring yourself and a friend or family member to what we hope will become an annual affair.

We’ve yet to select the wines, but we’ll guarantee you they’ll all be delicious and from family owned and operated wineries from all over the world.  We hope you can make it.

Awesome Italian Red Asheville

What’s Josh Drinking?

I’ve been hard at work “testing the product” here at the Table Wine Command Center recently.  I spend countless hours each week researching various blogs and periodicals as well as communicating with my wine friends who live all over the country to make sure that we keep the store stocked with the finest wines offered in North Carolina.  Here are some that have perked my palate recently.


1.  2010 Domaine des Aubuisieres Vouvray “Cuvée Silex”
Awesome Vouvray Asheville 





Bernard Fouquet simply makes some of the best Vouvray in the Loire and his 2010 is no exception.  100% Chenin Blanc and essentially dry, it offers up lovely notes of ripe melon, apple, flint and flowers.  This is world class Vouvray, and it could quite possibly be the best wine to serve with Thanksgiving dinner.


2. 2005 Charles Schleret Pinot Blanc Alsace
Charles Schleret Bottle 





Right when I smelled this one, I knew I had to have it.  You saw the vintage correct, but this wine is still alive and kickin’.  The nose smells of honeyed peach, pear and spiced apple leading into a rich and textured palate of ripe orchard fruits, mineral and delicate spice.  This might be the best white wine you could serve with Thanksgiving dinner………….didn’t I all ready say that?


3. 2010 La Garrigue Cotes du Rhone “Cuvée Romaine”
Awesome Cotes du Rhone AshevilleI’ve been a fan of this wine for most of my wine career, and I actually just recently enjoyed a lovely bottle of the 2001 of this exact wine.  Vintage 2010 is a great one in the southern Rhone, and this blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah is made by Philippe Cambie……….let’s just say that every wine he touches tastes better.  Trust me when I say that this doesn’t taste like your typical light, juicy and yummy Cotes du Rhone – this one’s got some muscle!  Buy to drink now or hold for 5 to 10 years.4. 2008 Montesecondo Rosso Toscana
Awesome Italian Red Asheville 





This wine from the husband and wife team of Silvio and Catalina Messana has graced our shelves since day one of our opening.  It is primarily Sangiovese, it is super pure, and it is just simply delicious and a true taste of Tuscany.  I recommend you buy some!

That’s all for today folks, meaning the above wines are all that I’ve consumed so far today.  Must stop typing and go take care of some Grape Nuts.  Come see us when you can and thanks for absorbing my humor.