2009 Vermentino from Italy, Courtesy of Vino Virtuoso

In my glass this evening is a 2009 Cantine Lunae Vermentino from Colli di Luni, Italy.Vermentino

It’s made from 100% Vermentino, which is a grape primarily grown along the Mediterranean coast and most famous for its floral and mineral scents, and rich flavors of honey, green apple, melon and lime. It’s a crisp, adventurous wine that pairs well with fresh seafood, vegetable dishes and especially pesto pasta!

Historically, Vermentino was primarily known inside and outside of Italy as a grape that was not meant to produce varietal wines, but rather was intended to be blended into wines dominated by other grapes, in order to give them more personality.

Like all wines made from the Vermentino grape, this wine has a pale yellow hue with golden reflections. This wine is intense yet elegant. It has creamy aromas of bright flowers, honey, melon, citrus-leaf and a core of earthy minerals.

It’s medium-bodied and has a profound crispness, a nice acidity, and a hint of salt. This is because the Vermentino vineyards of Cantine Lunae are planted on slopes and exposed constantly to the sea breeze, resulting in wines with a slight but identifiable saltiness.

Jan
1

Andrew Lane Winery

Just as Rayne Lynne came from the middle names of my two daughters, Andrew Lane was named after David Dickson’s two sons, Andrew and Lane.  Andrew Lane Wines was founded in 1978, and has since been considered a top underground winery.  Today, Andrew Lane wines are available in some of the finest restaurants in the world, and can also be found through Vino Virtuoso!  Check out the 2009 Efficacy and 2010 Boxing Girl in our Vino Virtuoso wine portfolio (above)! 

 

Since the beginning, Andrew Lane Wines has specialized in New World style of wine, which means each wine is made in a fruit-forward style and is approachable while young.  They definitely did their research in deciding this because “New World” is still preferred among us Americans. 

Andrew Lane Winery is located at 742 Sunny Side Road, St. Helena, California.

Boxing Girl

Dec
12

Holiday “CHEER-S”!

All in all, this weekend was a huge success!  Not only did I meet a bunch of new friends and potential hosts for future wine tastings, you can tell it’s “that time of year“.  Everyone was so happy and festive, and my hosts went above and beyond with the food pairings for each wine!  It even went as far as one husband making (from scratch) each food pairing AND personally serving each dish on a fancy platter while each wine was being served.  Cheers to Gerry!

        

I also had a great opportunity to pair up with a friend who sells Pink Zebra!  If you haven’t heard of Pink Zebra before, now is your chance to take a peek.  The products are completely soy-based, and the scents are VERY POTENT!  I can’t wait for my house to smell amazing!  Cheers to Denae!  (Gerry’s beautiful wife)

www.pinkzebrahome.com/denae1509

I’m also on a roll with booking Vino Virtuoso tastings for January and February 2013, even as far out as March 2013!  People are definitely wanting to take advantage of the $1.00 tasting flight deal we have going on in January!  Take a look!

Check out this ornament I scored during my Bunco ornament exchange last night!  I pulled #2, which as most know is the WORST number to pull in a dirty Santa gift exchange.  The ladies were kind enough to let me keep this one!  Cheers my friends!

 

With that said, it’s time for me to get back to baking a million cookies!  Happy Holidays everyone!

Dec
12

My “Why”

Why did I choose Vino Virtuoso?
Why wine? 

I wanted to be involved with a company and a product that people want to learn more about.  And I wanted it to be all about that product (in my case, wine) so I can learn something along the way too, as well as educate others.    I’m doing this because I do like wine, and I like trying new wines, and I believe in the concept of focusing mainly on small artisan vineyards throughout the world.  Although we’d all love to hop on a plane and travel to a remote vineyard somewhere in the hills of Italy, there’s a more convenient way to be introduced to some very unique, handcrafted “gems” these wines truly are.  Me!

For the past few years I’ve had this huge interest in wine.  Where does it come from?  How is it made? What are the different varietals and techniques used?   I came to find out (along the way) that there’s much more than that.  Wine is a very important part of our history and culture, and “traditions” are also a factor in wine-making.

I am now a fully-trained Wine Educator with Vino Virtuoso, and am part of this amazing and supportive community of wine lovers who get to share their passion and knowledge of wine by having entertaining and informative wine tastings.  It’s a risk-free deal, to be completely honest with you.  If you sign up and don’t like it, turn in the kit you paid for and get your money back!  (I highly doubt you’ll be dissatisfied, though.)  

OR…

You could complete the “Launch to Success” program like I did, and EARN your $189 back.  You have 60 days to complete 3 Tastings, and bring in $1,200 in qualified sales.  I did that in just over THIRTY days, and I KNOW that if you have a large amount of friends who can’t say no to wine (like I do), it’ll be a piece of cake.  Now that I received my return on investment, I can focus more on learning, training, and educating others at my own pace.

Vino Virtuoso strives to make smart decisions early, so they launched in a few states (meaning 4) initially, rather than opening up everywhere.  This company focuses heavily on wine education, the wine experience and the quality of the wine.  Their vision is to have a strong impact on the wine industry, and to stop the trend of big wine distributors dominating the U.S. market.

If you have some time on your hands to get out of the house for a few hours a couple times a week, I recommend you come on board and join the Vino Virtuoso family, or if you live in the Hampton Roads, VA area and want to host a wine tasting, please fill out the form below.  If you simply just want to browse my site to learn about hand-crafted wines, WELCOME!  And, thank you.

K. Golden – Vino Virtuoso Wine Educator – Chesapeake, Virginia

I would love if you liked my VV Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/kassygoldenvv, and follow @RayneLynne on Twitter!

Cheers!

Dec
12

This is What a Vino Virtuoso Wine Tasting Looks Like

 

        

These ladies seem to be having such a great time, it’s a good thing my wine tastings don’t cause palate fatigue!  Did you know that everyone has their own capacity when tasting wine?  Some can taste 10+ wines while still maintaining focus and judgment.  Others are tired after just a handful of wines.  Vino Virtuoso wine tastings don’t seem to have many “Sunday joggers” because our Tasting Flights only consist of 5 bottles. 

As with most things, the more practice and experience, the better you get! 

  • Three tastings / year  = not so sharp.
  • Six + tastings / year = more knowledgeable, more fun, and more WINE!

If you find yourself feeling tipsy after the third wine, remember to hydrate and something neutral that won’t interfere with your tasting experience (like bread and crackers).  And keep in mind that you can use your spit cup anytime! 

Also, by maintaining focus on the first sip, it will eliminate the need for you to go back to that same wine later.  Be sure to concentrate on the aromas, texture and weight of the wine before you swallow.  Then, after the swallow, take not of the finish.  Does it last?  Is it smooth and velvety, or is it tannic?

Regardless if you attend THREE or THIRTEEN tastings per year, the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!  

Cheers!

Dec
12

I Bet Mine Tops Yours!

What’s on my Vino Virtuoso tasting menus this weekend? Well, let me just tell you.  Tonight we have…

  • A Vermentino from Italy
  • Carmenere from Chile
  • Malbec from Monterey, CA
  • Primitivo from Italy
  • and the ever so “favorite” Moscato from Monterey, CA! 
And Sunday our flight selection will be:
  • Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
  • Chardonnay from Monterey, CA
  • Boxing Girl from Sonoma Coast, CA
  • Pinot Noir from Sonoma, CA
  • and a Carmenere from Chile 

Needless to say, I’ll be presenting quite the variety and can’t wait to see what the guests think of these small-lot, boutique wines!  

What’s on YOUR menu?

On a side note, I have to say that Vino Virtuoso is making quite the appearance in Hampton Roads, VA.  If you are interested in Hosting, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  I would be happy to meet your friends and family!  If you are a stay-at-home mom, or just simply looking for something on the side, being a Vino Virtuoso Wine Educator is so much fun!  It’s a very educational experience, and you get to teach people about different regions, grape varieties, tasting technique, and wine-making styles and traditions.  Please check out the “VV Wine Educator Business Opportunity” tab above to learn all about it.

Cheers!

Dec
12

January, 2013 = ONE DOLLAR! Seriously.

Looking to unwind after this busy holiday season?  You’ll probably just want to kick back, enjoy some good company, and have a great glass of wine to go along with it.  Yes, you’ll want to keep reading.  Have a Vino Virtuoso wine tasting! Rather than paying the $24.95 for your Tasting Flight, get it for just ONE DOLLAR (+ shipping) in January!

So for $20.00, you and your guests will enjoy a classy, educational experience with FIVE bottles of handcrafted, artisan wines.  And YOU (host) get to enjoy a complimentary bottle on us!  

(Yes, I know it sounds too good to be true, so let me rephrase:  In January, a host of a Vino Virtuoso Wine Tasting will get over $180.00 worth of boutique wines for 1. D.O.L.L.A.R.)

Are you in?  If so, and if you happen to live in the following towns/cities near me, fill out the form below and I’ll contact you ASAP to schedule your tasting.  I look forward to meeting new friends in our little neck of the woods! 

  • Chesapeake, VA
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Norfolk, VA 

Dec
12

Sign Me Up!

Now that Vino Virtuoso is making its mark in the state of Virginia (the Hampton Roads area), you don’t have to LIVE in Virginia to be involved.  

  • Are you interested in becoming a Wine Educator with Vino Virtuoso?  
  • Do you want to host a fabulous Wine Tasting for your friends, family, or colleagues?  
  • Do you want to order a bottle (or two…or twelve) of a handcrafted, artisan wine?
  • Or, maybe you just want to hear about the new wines that enter our portfolio!  

That’s OK too!  Stay in the loop by filling out the form below.  If there’s something you want me to know about you, type a comment!  I’ll get back with you shortly!  

Cheers!

 

 

Dec
12

Hidden Gems Found at Davis Family Vineyards

Davis Family Vineyards is also home to a couple of gems that are exclusively sold through Vino Virtuoso.  A 2009 Riesling and a 2008 Pinot Noir.  Send me an E-mail (KassyGolden@gmail.com) to order yours today!

2009 Riesling, Davis Family Vineyards – An off-dry gem from acclaimed winemaker Guy Davis, this Riesling tantalizes with its effervescent, floral bouquet. Exuberant and innocent, this wine pairs perfectly with most foods and plays especially nice with a little spice. 

2008 Pinot Noir, Davis Family Vineyards – Showcasing the fertile terroir of the Russian River Valley and the supreme artistry of iconic winemaker Guy Davis, this award-winning, estate-grown Pinot Noir unfolds with creamy layers of lush blackberries, plump boysenberries and dark hazelnut spices. 

Dec
12

A Weekend Full of Friends, Laughs, and a Little Wine

Well, it didn’t take much for people to come to the conclusion that Vino Virtuoso’s artisan wines are pretty spectacular.  It’s not just a biased opinion on my part, the wine actually speaks for itself.  Ask ANYONE that went to my Tasting’s this weekend about what they thought of the flight of wines, especially the Moscato!  That one is seriously a sweet-tooth’s dream.

And it was the FIRST time I couldn’t finish my presentation on that wine because as soon as we got to the “sip” portion, the entire room burst out with just a touch of “OH. MY. GOSH.”, ”I’ve found my absolute FAVORITE Moscato…EVER!”, “Now, this is how wine is SUPPOSED to be made!”, “Sign me up for a case of this!”, and “Who makes this again?  Sorry, I was too busy savoring…”

Needless to say, it’s not going to take long for this one to sell out.  Can’t wait to see what next weekend brings!

Cheers!

Dec
12

Riesling Bottles & Alternative Wine Closures…Oh My!

What a great wine tasting last night!  The big winners of the evening were the Prosecco (sparkling wine) from Veneto, Italy AND the En Tiempo Malbec from Monterey, California.

 

I like to have guests at my wine tastings as comfortable as possible by keeping the dialog interactive.  We had some trivia winners, and we had some questions asked such as “Why do Rieslings often come in tall, skinny bottles?”

After doing a little research on the handy dandy “Wikipedia”, I found that according to Australia’s Andrew Wigan of Peter Lehmann wines, it’s purely a marketing decision to help people who are browsing a wine shop to quickly pick out the type of wine they’re searching for.  In the famous wine-growing regions of Northern Germany, it was customary to bottle wines made with Riesling grapes in tall, slender bottles.  Then, as other countries began growing Riesling grapes, they, too, took from the German tradition and started bottling their Rieslings in tall, slender bottles as well.  The shape of a bottle is a key indicator of different wine styles, which varies considerably from region to region, especially throughout the Old World (Europe).

Another interesting question was about why there is such a variety of corks used today, particularly the corks that almost feel rubbery, “synthetic corks” (or fake as one of my guests implied).  Alternative wine closures have surfaced due to the need to protect against “cork taint” caused by the chemical trichloroanisole (TCA).  

Basically, the short answer is that synthetic corks were made to look like natural corks, but eliminating the risk of TCA contamination in the wine.  They are NOT biodegradable; however, are recyclable as #4 or #7 in most communities.  A 2007 study showed that synthetic corks offered the LOWEST protection against oxidation of the wine.  Since then, a new generation and development of the synthetic cork perfectly replicates the natural cork.  ”Synthetic wine bottle closures may allow for a controlled oxygen transfer rate which has an impact on the sensory characteristics.

While I’m on a roll here, let’s talk about screw caps vs. natural cork.  Did you know that the screw cap is predominantly used in Australia and New Zealand?  Why?  Because screw caps keep oxygen out much longer than cork, which in turn maintains the overall quality, and aging, of the wine.  The same 2007 study (as above) showed that the screw cap offered the HIGHEST level of protection against oxidation of the wine.

 

Of course, there are on-going debates of all types of alternative wine closures, and much longer explanations here.  I’m looking forward to hearing more!

Cheers!

 

 

Dec
12

What’s on the Menu Tonight?

Tonight I have a wine tasting at a neighbors house, and I’m VERY MUCH looking forward to introducing the amazing flight of Vino Virtuoso wines that she picked.  Event photos will follow.

Here’s what’s on tonight’s menu:

  • NV Moletto Long Charmat Prosecco from Veneto, Italy (a PERFECT New Year’s sparkling wine!)
  • 2008 Barn d’Or Chardonnay from Mmonterey, California
  • 2009 Davis Family Vineyards Riesling from Sonoma Coast, California
  • 2005 En Tiempo Malbec from Monterey, California (VERY good, I might add!)
  • 2007 Montal Garnacha from Jumilla, Spain

What’s on YOURS?

 

Nov
11

* A Perfect New Year’s Wine *

I have the PERFECT New Year’s wine for your dinner table!  It’s a hand-crafted Prosecco from Veneto, Italy!  I’m now taking orders for (before) Christmas delivery ~ so please take a look at the Vino Virtuoso Wine Portfolio by clicking the heading at the top of the page.  

A LITTLE ABOUT THIS SPARKLING WINE…

Non-Vintage Prosecco, Moletto – Crafted meticulously in accordance with the “Long Charmat” method, this elegant sparkling wine represents Moletto’s finest Prosecco. Youthful, fruity and aromatic, it’s a delightful, uplifting aperitif for any special occasion. ($33.50)

E-mail KassyGolden@gmail.com if you’d like to order!
(It will take approximately 2 weeks to receive your wine.)

Shipping + Handling = $19.95, regardless if you order 1 bottle, or 12.
Create your case today!

Nov
11

I Just Had a GENIUS Wine-Entertainment Idea!

I can TOTALLY use one of these as a Vino Virtuoso Tasting boat!  (Don’t worry, I linked the photo to it’s proper owner)  Kudos to Hammacher Schlemmer on this one!

Genius?  I KNOW!  

I could take this little boat out for a couple hours with a bunch of winos, and introduce them to the amazing portfolio of Vino Virtuoso wines!  My business would run from early summer through early fall on this boat.  

But what about the rest of the year, you say?  I got this, don’t worry.  

I would bring my business indoors (utilizing my fabulous sunroom, of course!)
Don’t you think my kitchen should probably have this?

Who’s with me?

(Now, if only my tree in my backyard would start distributing those dollar bills, I’d be in business!)

Nov
11

Fun Fact

Categories: Home,Wine
Nov
11

10 Reasons Why Moms Need Wine Sometimes

(Okay, maybe a touch “more” than sometimes)…

 

The holidays are upon us, and every mom pretty much knows what THAT means!   C-H-A-O-S and S-T-R-E-S-S.  Stress of planning that perfect Thanksgiving meal, which also includes buying the ingredients for your 8 (thousand)  recipes, WITH the kids, at a WALMART, then putting away the 52 bags of groceries, all while the kids are complaining “I’m huuuuuungry!”  

In the midst of stocking my fridge and pantry, I take a long sigh, count to 10, and take one look around the disaster happening in my kitchen.  And then there it was…blowing me soft kisses from the corner of my kitchen counter, what seemed like a mile away.  The glimpse of her voluptuous curves and long, slender neck blocked out every sound of every person ripping through my house.  There she was saying, “You neeeeed me.  I will make you haaaaappy.”  My beautiful bottle of 2008 Davis Family Vinyards Pinot Noir was sending me telepathic messages from across the room!

Here’s my short list of reasons why moms need to keep a friend like mine on hand:

 1.     Holiday preparation (see above)

 2.     Wine Time = Adult Time | Adult Time  = Pretty Freakin’ Awesome | Period.

 3.     Wine calms me down, shuts me up, and helps me sleep like a baby through the night.  Wine  = my version of a BINKY!  (Sometimes I just wish it could be THEIR version of a binky too.)

 4.     Remember when I briefly told you I counted to 10 when I was about to lose my temper? Well, it takes me about 8 of those seconds to open a bottle of wine, so by the time I’m finished counting… well, YOU know.   

 5.     Runny noses, runny poop, butt-wiping, and homework are part of our job.  Don’t you think we deserve to be rewarded for going the extra mile?

 6.     Referring back to my intro, we pretty much deal with “the whining” all day. And the only way to chill out after living through “the whining” is to pour a glass of “wine.”  Hey!  I think those two versions of the word relate for a reason.  Don’t you?

 7.     Sucking back wine stops me from talking for a few seconds and having to say, “No!” “Please stop!” It miraculously silences the “Up!”, “Mommy come here!”, “Mooooooooommmmmy!”, “I’m hungry!”,  “Can I have a sucker?”, “I have to go potty!”  It gives my poor kid (well okay, me) a break. (Remember when I mentioned that “Wine Time = Adult Time”? There ARE exceptions to the rule.

 8.     Downing a glass (or two)….(or three) of wine before the “bread-winner” gets home makes the whole “world’s best wife” thing so much easier to accept!  (Kiss kiss) “So, how was your day, love?” (sip, sip) “Take a load off; you’ve had a long day.” (sip, gulp) “Relax a little while I go make dinner.” (gulp, guzzle) – Oh wait!  Dinner’s done!  (No need to tell him so soon!  The bottle is in the kitchen! Shhh!)  (pour, pour, sip, gulp).

 9.     Wine gives me something to look forward to when I’ve had “a day.” Just like coffee does in the morning to prepare me for such a “day.”  No judging!  I know you secretly feel the same way…

 10.  Who doesn’t love wine?  I mean, REALLY…

* You can get your 2008 Pinot Noir, Davis Family Vineyards wine through me!  Showcasing the fertile terroir of the Russian River Valley and* the supreme artistry of iconic winemaker Guy Davis, this award-winning, estate-grown Pinot Noir unfolds with creamy layers of lush blackberries, plump boysenberries and dark hazelnut spices. ($43.00)  http://www.raynelynne.com/vino-virtuoso-wine-portfolio/

Nov
11

My Favorite Wine App On My iPhone

As I’m giving my presentation during my Vino Virtuoso Wine Tastings, I absolutely HAVE to plug in a little blurb about my favorite wine app that I use, Vivino Wine Scanner.  I started using this app because I wanted to remember (and rate) which wines I like, and those I didn’t really care for.  This app gives even more than that!  Not only will you never forget another wine, you can take a PHOTO of the label, and it automatically recognizes the wine by analyzing the label, then matches it against its online wine database of over 500,000 wines!  Sometimes our Vino Virtuoso wines aren’t matched right away, so when that happens, Vivino’s wine recognition team does it for you!

Once the label is scanned and your wine is detected, it pulls up facts, ratings, tips from other users, and where to buy it!  Unfortunately, the fabulous wines of Vino Virtuoso are sold exclusively through Vino Virtuoso Wine Educators like myself.  But!  If you attend a Tasting, or purchase a case through me, you can scan your label with Vivino and save the wines’ info for future reference!  

The wines you scan are saved to your personal wine list  which you can access through both the app and the Vivino website.  You can also share to your favorite social media sites, and check out what your friends are drinking too!  And best of all, it’s FREE!  

Check out the cute little video—->  

Here are a few snapshots from my iPhone 4S:

       

 

 

Categories: Home,Wine
Nov
11

Small Biz Saturday!

Now that we’ve made it through Thanksgiving, and Black Friday, it’s time to show support for us Small Businesses out there!

Support my small business this Saturday, November 24, 2012!  Enter Coupon Code “SBSATURDAY” for a 15% discount when checking out at RayneLynne’s Etsy Shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/RayneLynne.  I can do custom pieces too!

 AND…

If you’re looking for a few amazing bottles of hand-crafted, artisan wines for Christmas and New Years, NOW IS THE TIME TO ORDER!  Visit my “Vino Virtuoso Wine Portfolio” page to read about Vino Virtuoso’s current wines and descriptions.

Again, these are hand-crafted, artisan wines from small boutique wineries throughout the world. Wines you will only find through Vino Virtuoso.   I post daily tips, tricks and fun facts on my Facebook Business Page:  www.facebook.com/kassygoldenvv.  Please LIKE it!  If you have any questions about ordering, please message me at kassygolden@gmail.com.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Cheers!

Nov
11

On This Day of Thanks…

Nov
11

Are You Adventurous Enough?

Why do we like wine?  (Other than the fact it’s the most enjoyable beverage on earth)  It’s something MORE than just a beverage.  It’s a beverage that involves passion because it reflects times past.   Wine is something that is changing and moving forward constantly.  The non-stagnancy is what keeps people interested.

Wine offers something new all the time; it takes you on this adventure of discovery, history, and culture.  Because wine and its science are constantly changing, it offers more of an intellectual experience.  For example, you purchase a wine, then you try to figure out how it plays a part in a meal, in a special occasion, and you always wonder if it’s going to offer more!  You can’t do that with carbonated beverages, or other liqueurs.

Some wines reflect personalities, while others reflect culture; either way, each wine has its own identity; each has a different story.  Are you adventurous enough to dive into the journey of wine and find out why YOU like it?

Cheers!

Nov
11