Table Wine Asheville - Small Vineyards Imports Tasting

“545” Wine Tasting – Try 5 Wines For $5 – Friday, June 21st., 2013 – 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

If you live in Asheville and love Italian wines, you should definitely make Table Wine a destination this Friday, June 21.  We’ll be sampling out the latest batch of wines to arrive from Small Vineyards, an importer whose philosophy on picking out wines is very much in common with ours:

“Every bottle of Small Vineyards wine bears our gold seal, signifying that the wine is hand-harvested, earth friendly, and from a family owned estate. By importing wines from small estates, we are helping to protect unique grape varietals, local winemaking styles, and preserve a special way of life.” 

If you’ve ever heard us preaching the gospel of small family estate wines, this should sound quite familiar.  If you haven’t, just realize that when it comes to wine, 9 times out of 10, smaller is better.  We like the folks who like to get dirty in their vineyards, who subscribe to the philosophy that good wine is made in the vineyard, and who apply minimal “treatments” to their wines in the cellar. If you compare wine to any other agricultural crop, which one tastes better, the one that comes from the small farmer who sells his crop at the local farmer’s market or the one that comes from the large factory farm that gets sold at the grocery store? Hopefully you prefer the tomato you buy at the tailgate market over the one at the grocery store…………..the same premise applies to wine.  Don’t believe us?  Come taste for yourself this Friday.

$5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts

The Wines You’ll Get To Try
Prices range from $16 to $23 

1. 2012 Antonio Sanguineti Vermentino
Tuscany, Italy

2. 2012 Cantina Altarocca Orvieto Classico Superiore
Umbria, Italy

3. 2010 Macedon Pinot Noir
Tikves, Macedonia

4. 2011 Perazetta Erio Super Tuscan
Tuscany, Italy

5. 2010 Verso Salento Rosso
Puglia, Italy

6. 2012 Marchetti Verdicchio “Tenuta del Cavaliere”
Castelli di Jesi, Italy

2007 Casa Contini Biferno Riserva

Wine of the Weeks – 2007 Casa Contini Biferno Riserva

Here’s something you don’t see that often – a perectly aged, mature and complex red wine that retails for less than $15!  Casa Contini owns vineyards in the newly demarcated DOC of Biferno, and the region makes reds, whites and rosés.  If you’re Italian wine geography is a little rusty, Biferno is located in the greater Molise zone along the Adriatic coast, just above the heel of Italy’s boot.

The Biferno River, that cuts right through the middle of Molise.

The Biferno River, that cuts right through the middle of Molise.

This rendition blends 85% Montepulciano with 15% Aglianico and the wine sees 18 months aging in oak followed by 6 months further maturation in bottle.  The forward fruit of Montepulciano is given more muscle and earth nuances from the addition of Aglianico, and the resulting wine displays a nice core of dark berry fruit complimented by notes of vanilla, exotic spice, herb and pepper.  It is custom made for grilled meats or rustic fare like lamb stew.  Don’t worry, this one’s got at least another 3-4 years of life ahead of it!   

Buy it in the next 2 weeks and save 10% off by the bottle, 15% off if you buy six bottles and 20% off if you buy 12 bottles. 

Regular Price: $14.99/bottle 

Sale Pricing
$13.49 on 3-5 bottle purchases

$12.74 on 6-11 bottle purchases

$11.99 on 12+ bottle purchases 

Sale pricing good through 3/26. 

Please mention that you saw the sale pricing via the newsletter or website to save!

Wine of the Week – 2008 G.D. Vajra Barolo “Albe”

Aldo and Milena Vajra are said to be some of the nicest people producing wine in Italy’s famed Piemonte zone. I have been a huge fan of their wines for many years and the 2008 version of their “entry-level” Barolo is the finest I’ve ever tasted.  Keep in mind that other Barolos from the same vintage that registered scores in this range start at $65 to $70!  This is a steal my friends, and I would highly recommend that you take advantage of the absurd price we’re offering it at.

Here’s what Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate had to say about the 2008: “The 2008 Barolo Albe is flat-out delicious. The Albe has often been a big step below the flagship Barolo Bricco delle Viole, but not in 2008. Although softer and rounder than that wine, there is plenty of vintage character in this vibrant, beautifully articulated Barolo. Sweet dark cherries, incense, licorice and tobacco are all wrapped around a pliant finish. The 2008 is accessible even today, and is a great – and I mean great – introductory Barolo for the year. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.”
93 points – Wine Advocate, 94 points – Wine Spectator

Our first shipment will be arriving on Wednesday, February 13 and we highly recommend that you call us or email us to reserve yours.  She ain’t gonna’ last long.  828.505.8588 or

Regular Price: $36.99/bottle

$31.44 on 3 bottle purchases

$29.99 on 6+ bottle purchases

The sale prices are good through Friday, February 22.

“545” Wine Tasting – Exploring Italian Wines

We’re feeling like supporting another fellow North Carolina resident this week.  Last week, we tasted wines from Chapel Hill based importer Andre Tamer’s portfolio and this week, we’ll be featuring wines from Durham based importer Jay Murrie’s collection.  His company, Piedmont Wine Imports, is packed with delicious tasting wines from tiny, organic/biodynamic, family estates from various regions of Italy.  We are excited to be selling these wines and working with such a passionate person.  You don’t want to miss this one!
$5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts 

Here’s the lineup:

The Wines
Prices range from $14 to $20  

1. 2010 Orsolani Erbaluce “La Rustia”
This isn’t one of Jay’s wines, but I think he would approve.  This is white wine nirvana for me!  Come by and we’ll tell you all about this obscure little grape from Italy’s Piemonte region.

2. 2011 Case Ibidini Insolia
Also not Jay’s, but we’re just getting started with him.  Insolia is native to Sicily and it produces a white wine full of energetic, minerally goodness.

3. 2010 Castellina Chianti Montalbano
Jay’s wines start with this gorgeous rendition of Chianti from a certified organic estate.  Pure, vibrant and packed with classic cherry and red berry notes.

4. NV Caparsa Rosso di Caparsa
Proprietor Paolo Cianferoni drinks a liter of wine every day and says his wines have to be made in a healthy way.  Certified organic, pure Sangiovese goodness.

5. 2010 La Casaccia Freisa di Monferrato “Monfiorenza”
Freisa is one of the many obscure but delicious grapes of Piemonte.  Giovanni Rava is the man behind this wine and his vineyards are certified organic.  This is the type of wine I could drink all day – fresh, floral, spicy and chuggable!

“645” Wine Tasting – Try 6 Wines For $5

For the adventurous wine drinker, no country offers as much variety of wine as Italy. Grapes are grown in almost all corners of the country, and there are more than one million vinyeards under cultivation making it the second largest producer of wine in the world, just behind France…… most vintages.

We’ll do our best this Friday, September 14 from 4-7 p.m. to provide you with a sampling of notable wines from some of Italy’s oldest and most noteworthy production zones.  From the cooler climate, more Alpine-influenced wines of the north to the warm climate, Mediterranean influenced wines of central and southern Italy, we’ll take you on an educational, fun and delicious tour of the country via her wines.  The cost to taste all six wines is just $5 or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.

1. 2010 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso – Caluso is in the far northern reaches of Italy, not too far from the Swiss border, and the Orsolani family work with the most noble white grape of the region – Erbaluce.  The wine is as fresh as a mountain stream with lovely notes of lemon, pear, green melon and limestone minerality.

2. 2011 Roagna Langhe Bianco – Started early in the 20th century, this small family estate is highly revered for their Barbarescos.  Although white wine is not their focus, they make a small amount of this true original – a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Nebbiolo…….yes, I said Nebbiolo, which is a red grape.  It is truly delicious and completely unique.

3. 2009 Sartarelli Verdicchio “Tralivio” – The Sartarelli family are one of the reference point estates for high quality Verdicchio.  The grape thrives in the regions along the cost of and inland of the Adriatic Sea, in central-eastern Italy.  Mineral and herbs burst out of the glass of this focused and pure white leading into a palate dominated by lemon, nectarine and peach notes.  91 points – The Wine Advocate

4. 2009 G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso – We head back up north to Italy’s Piemonte region to sample a wine from the fantastic Vajra family estate.  Renowned for their Barolos, they also make this honest red, which serves as the family’s “house wine”.  It is always a blend of several grapes including Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Freisa and Pinot Nero, but we’re not really sure what the current incarnation contains.  We do know, however, that it is delicious!

5. 2008 Pirro Varone Primitivo di Manduri “Casa Vecchia” – Pirro Varone specializes in old-vine Primitivo, which is the same grape as Zinfandel, and his vineyards are all certified organic and located in the heel of Italy’s boot in Puglia.  This one shows the “heartier” side of Italian wine, with rustic, spicy notes of berries, herbs and spices. Perfect for fall fare!

6. 2010 Perazzeta Erio Rosso Toscana – We’ll end the tasting with a Super Tuscan from the Bocci family.  This blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cab and Syrah is about as friendly as Italian wine can get.  Luscious red fruits and exotic spices are present in the nose and the palate of this super red wine that will have you thinking that it costs $40+.

South Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tasting

Every Saturday, we host one of Asheville’s best free wine tastings from 2 to 5 p.m.  It is free to the public and the tasting typically features 4 affordable wines from small family wineries.

The “smaller guys” use a more artisan approach in the farming of their grapes and the making of their wines and they are driven more by quality than profit.  Much like the local Asheville organic farmer or cheese maker is driven by the quality of their product as opposed to the quantity produced, the farmers/producers we champion share a similar ideal.

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding, so stop by Table Wine on Saturday’s to taste what we’re talking about! We love to talk about wine, so feel free to ask questions, even if they make you think the sound dumb.  We won’t make you feel inadequate! 

This Saturday’s lineup (July 21) will include the following wines: 

1. 2011 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia – This wine comes from one of the top young producers in Italy’s Veneto region and it blends the native Garganega (typically found in Soave) with Chardonnay.  It is an intensely aromatic and flavorful white with notes of wildflowers, peach, apple and honey.  Great on a hot afternoon by itself, this one also loves spicy Thai and other Asian fare.

2. 2011 Vecchia Torre Leverano Rosato – This dry Rosé hails from Puglia in southern Italy.  It blends the native Negroamaro with a splash of Malvasia Nera to create a dry, but fruit filled pink wine with aromas and flavors of ripe strawberry, cherry, cranberry and peach.  The wine works with almost any sort of food, but really loves sunny back porches and friends.

3. NV Garofoli Antica Osteria Rosso – Here is Italian table wine at its finest!  A blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese, it is super friendly, with flavors of ripe black cherry, plum and spice.  Perfect for washing down Marco’s pizza or spaghetti and meatballs.

4. 2008 Schola Sarmenti Roccamora – Here’s something many of you have probably never tried – 100% Negroamaro from a single, 35 year old vineyard.  Hailing from Nardo, along Italy’s southern, Salento peninsula, this is a big, boisterous, delicious wine.  Flavors of wild cherry, plum, roasted herb and complex spice make this a wine that loves grilled meats and stews.

“545” Wine Tasting – Big Italian Reds

We love Italian wines and so will you once you try these 5 at our tasting this Friday, May 25.  The issue that many of our customers have with Italian reds is that they can be tangy and sharp and not especially likable without food, but that’s not always the case.  Come by and try these 5 that we think work well on or off the dinner table this Friday.

The sampling gets started at 4:00 and ends at 7:00, and the cost is $5/person or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.

Here’s the lineup:

1. Falesco Sangiovese – The brothers Cotarella make some of Italy’s most splendid values from their home winery based in Umbria.  This is dark, rich and structured Sangiovese that sees a little bit of oak aging that serves to soften the wine a bit.  It is a consensus best value in The Wine Advocate and sells for a song.

2. Gianfranco Alessandria Barbera d’Alba – Gianfranco Alessandria is a shy and quiet man, but his wines aren’t.  This is a nice, full bodied Barbera with loads of black currant and plum fruit with subtle suggestions of violet and spice.

3. Falesco Merlot – Here’s a 92 point rated wine (The Wine Advocate) that drinks like it should cost you about $30……it’s about $15.  Ripe, almost jammy blueberry and blackberry fruit are interlaced with notions of baking spices and nicely integrated French oak.  Yum!

4. Zenato Cormi – “Cormi” is a fun, uncoventional blend of Corvina (the top grape in an Amarone) and Merlot from Zenato, one of the top names in Amarone.  The Corvina is allowed to dry for a short period of time, thus intensifying the flavors, and the Merlot adds a nice plush texture to this pleasure heavy offering.

5. Bodegas Renacer Enamore – This is a joint project between Mendoza based Renacer and Verona based Allegrini and some of you know how good of a hand Allegrini has with Amarone.  The wine is produced in Argentina and the blend is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Malbec, Cab Franc and Bonarda.  The grapes are allowed to dry in the Amarone style and the wine is simply delicious.

2010 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso "La Rustia"

Wine of the Week – Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso “La Rustia”

Erbaluce is a grape native to the northwestern part of Italy, and it grows especially well around the town of Caluso in the Alpine foothills.  The soils of the region are high in acidity and the grape really thrives in these types of soils.  Gianoluigi Orsolani and his father, Francesco have run this little operation since 1967, and they are one of just a handful of producers still working with Erbaluce.  Thank goodness they are, because this is a very special wine……… special in fact that it was the first Erbaluce to ever receive the coveted Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso, which is essentially the equivalent of receiving a 95+ point score from one of the major U.S. wine journals.

“La Rustia” means the “roasted” slopes in the local Piemontese dialect, a reference to the vineyard’s ideal location for maximum sun exposure.  Fermented entirely in stainless steel, this is a complex white wine with lovely layers of peach, melon, grapefruit and citrus followed by intriguing notes of essential oils, sage, lavender, and flowers.  It is dry and zippy and would taste really good with a lemon roasted chicken or with a wide variety of seafood.  You should try a bottle, as this is the estate’s top bottling.  We also stock the estate’s entry-level Erbaluce, which comes in a liter bottle for just $17.99.

Regular Price: $21.99/bottle

On sale through May 22 at $19.99/bottle

Northern Italian Wine and Food Experience

Our last small plate food and wine pairing was a huge hit, and we’re extremely excited about the next one.  All of the dishes will be prepared by Les and Barb Norman again……….those of you who were with us last time can attest to the fact that they know how to cook extremely well and we know how to pick out great wines to go with their culinary creations.  Our next wine and food event will focus on the wines and good of Northern Italy, including the regions of Piemonte and the Veneto.  The event takes place on Thursday, April 19 at Table Wine beginning at 7:00 and going until about 9:00.  The cost is $60/person or $50 if you’re a Grape Nut and this price is all inclusive.

For these events, the store is transformed into a restaurant of sorts with full table and wine service so that you get to actually enjoy each course with the selected wine.  The goal is to educate you about the way wine and food work together, but we also promise that you’ll have a good time.

We’ve put together a great small plate menu paired with a wonderful selection of wines.  Each plate is accompanied by a 2 ounce pour of each wine, and we promise you that you’ll leave sufficiently full, happy and more educated about the way that wine and food work together.  Please read below carefully:

Table service will start promptly at 7:00 p.m., so it’s a good idea to get to the store 10 or 15 minutes early. 

Reservations can be made via phone only please and pre-payment is required.  Call us at 828.505.8588 to reserve your spot. 

If you should need to cancel your reservation, please call within 48 hours of the event and we will issue you a refund.


1. Antipasto Sampler
 Italian Meats, Aged Parmigiana and Balsamic Glazed Onion

Paired with Belstar Prosecco 


2. Bruschetta Two Ways
Zucchini Pesto, Ricotta and Roasted Bell Pepper
Oil Poached Tomato and Basil

Paired with Cordero di Montezemolo Roero Arneis 


3. Chicken Liver Mousse on Toast
With Fennel Gelée

Paired with Corte Majoli Amarone della Valpolicella 


4. Beef Cheek Ragu Over Fresh Fettucine
With Aged Parmigiano Reggiano

Paired with Paitin Barbaresco “Sori Paitin” 


5. Hazelnut and Chocolate Tart

Paired with a Surprise Wine You’re Gonna’ Love!

Sartarelli Verdicchio

Wine Of The Week – Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

“Sartarelli is one of the premier, reference-point producers of fine Verdicchio. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these fabulous whites from the Marche.”  Wine Advocate, 6/30/2010

After sampling this wine out on Saturday and selling it to almost everyone who tasted it, I would have to agree with the above statement!  The wine hails from Italy’s Le Marche region, a zone east of Tuscany along the Adriatic Coast.  It is believed by most that Verdicchio originated in this region and has thrived here since the 14th century.  This region gets especially hot during the summer, and an ice cold glass of clean, fresh and zippy Verdicchio is the perfect way to beat the heat.

Sartarelli Vineyards

Sartarelli's Verdicchio Vineyards

Donatella and Patrizio Sartarelli craft some of the finest Verdicchio in the area.  They farm their vineyards sustainably, meaning they only use pesticides if absolutely necessary.  This pragmatic approach to farming is very common among smaller, family owned and operated wineries throughout Europe.  These folks farm and nurture their own vineyards, and often craft relatively small amounts of wine to sell.  In most vintages, the Sartarellis use 100% organic practices in their vineyards, but they reserve the right to do what they need to do to make sure they can produce their wines each and every year.  Make no mistake about it, they depend on the sale of their wine to make a living and thus reserve the right to do what they feel necessary to get their wine to market.  I can appreciate that.  Back to Verdicchio though, and this one in particular.

Sartarelli’s Verdicchio is served ice cold in restaurants and wine bars along the Adriatic Coast to cool off and/or to wash down fresh fish simply prepared and spritzed with lemon.  The wine is unoaked, super fresh and packed with white peach, lemon and green apple fruit notes along with complex mineral nuances.  It is the perfect wine for a sunny, Asheville spring day – try it ice cold on your back or front porch or try it with a simple, olive oil pan seared piece of flaky white fish spritzed with lemon and sprinkled with fresh herbs.  Yum!


$11.89/bottle in a mixed case