Biltmore American Series

The American Series from The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate is all decked out for the holidays, making it a picturesque time to visit. But if you’re not able to tour the historic home and winery, you can still bring a part of it into your home.

The American Series of wines from the Biltmore Estate are American grown and North Carolina produced. Winemakers source the grapes from top vineyards and growers in California and Washington, then craft the wines at the estate winery in Asheville.

Biltmore American Pinot GrigioThe Biltmore Estate American Pinot Grigio 2013 is light and refreshing with citrus, pear and apple notes and a touch of sweet tangerine. It’s a blend of California (90%) and Washington (10%) grapes, with a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay added to the Pinot Grigio. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks at a low temperature to preserve the fresh fruit characteristics.

Winemakers at the Biltmore Estate suggest pairing the American Pinot Grigio with calamari with creamy lime sauce, scallops wrapped in bacon, crab cakes, chicken, seafood and tuna salads. $12, 13.6% alcohol

Biltmore American Pinot NoirThe Biltmore Estate American Pinot Noir 2012 has the lushness you look for in Pinot with an inviting spiciness from the addition of Syrah. Costing less than $20, it’s a great value. The grapes for this wine came entirely from California. After fermentation the wine spent six to eight months aging in stainless steel tanks, French and American oak barrels. Red cherry, plum and vanilla flavors mingle with white pepper and baking spice.

A versatile wine, the Biltmore Estate American Pinot Noir may be enjoyed with the varied flavors of any holiday meal. Other suggested pairings include salmon, smoked turkey, barbecue and Boursin cheese.
$17, 14.2% alcohol

Biltmore American Cabernet SauvignonThe Biltmore Estate American Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 brings together California, Washington and North Carolina, with 45% of the grapes coming from the estate vineyards in Asheville (46% from California and 9% from Washington). Rounding out the Cabernet Sauvignon is a touch of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Malbec and Pinot Noir. The wine was aged eight to twelve months in French and American oak barrels before it was blended and bottled. Medium in body with soft tannins, the red wine has supple notes of black currant, black cherry, boysenberry, vanilla and rosemary.

Suggested pairings from the Biltmore winemakers include lamb with rosemary, hamburgers and smoked Gouda cheese.
$17, 13.6% alcohol

For more information on the American Series and the other wines from the Biltmore Estate visit

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Dine Small on Small Business Saturday

This holiday season support local businesses — that includes local bars and restaurants too.

SBA Dine SmallFor the fifth annual Small Business Saturday, the U.S. Small Business Association has teamed up with the National Restaurant Association to encourage Americans to #DineSmall.

After an afternoon of shopping, head to one of your favorite local spots, or discover a new one. Some restaurants will be offering special menus or deals for the evening.

Share your experiences on social media with #DineSmall.

Small Business Saturday takes place the day after Black Friday, on November 29.

Flight Night at SOHO Atlanta

Looking for a spot to discover new wines with friends? Visit SOHO Atlanta on Wednesday evenings for Flight Night.

SOHO Atlanta RestaurantEach week the American bistro in Vinings features three wines from well known regions around the world. The wines are paired with tapas from by Executive Chef Scott Warren.

November’s wines showcase Australia and New Zealand.

Guests can sample a flight (three three-ounce glasses) for $14.50; pair the flight with one tapa for $19; or enjoy a full glass and one tapa for $13. The wines and tapas are also available individually.

Can’t make it to flight night? The wines are available through the following Tuesday.

Click here for more information on Flight Night at SOHO Atlanta.

Flight Night on Wednesdays at SOHO Atlanta Restaurant, 4300 Paces Ferry Road SE, Atlanta 30339 (in the Vinings Jubilee).

Luzech plateau Cahors

Cahors Crash Course Part 2: Terroir and Terraces

When getting to know Cahors Malbec, it helps to learn about the terroir.

Sure we can go into detail on the geology, terrain and soil depth or type, but today we’re boiling it down to an easy to understand concept – terraces.

These layers of alluvial deposits are what make for such a variety of wines in the Cahors region. Knowing about terraces is the key to understanding the different styles and aging potential of Cahors Malbec.

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Cahors map

Cahors Crash Course Part 1: History

To say that Cahors Malbec has been the wine of kings, popes and tsars is not an understatement. From the Middle Ages onward the “black wine of Cahors” was enjoyed by such notable figures as Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Francis I, Peter the Great of Russia and Pope John XXII (who was born in Cahors). Experts in the 1700s wrote about the high quality wines of the region, as did French agronomist Dr. Jules Guyot in an 1868 text, where he also described Malbec’s aging potential.

So why is Cahors Malbec not the go-to wine for celebrations, gourmet meals or tonight’s dinner?

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Gypsy Kitchen

Gypsy Kitchen Brings Spanish Flavors to Buckhead Atlanta

It’s a good sign when a newly opened restaurant is packed on a Wednesday night. It’s an even better sign when it features a menu that makes you want to order every single dish – and better still when those dishes exceed expectations.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Gypsy Kitchen.

The restaurant is one of the first to open at Buckhead Atlanta, the new shopping and dining district. It’s the latest concept from Southern Proper Hospitality, which owns and operates Smokebelly BBQ, The Big Ketch, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails and Osteria Cibo Rustico.

The décor, like the menu, is influenced by Spain with Moroccan and Indian flavors thrown into the mix. It’s that cool spot you would want to happen upon in Granada after an afternoon of sightseeing at the Alhambra.

It’s a see-and-be-seen kind of place, with a layout that makes it at once intimate and good for people watching. The outdoor patio is sure to be packed all weekend, as is the bar area that features a life-size metal bull.Gypsy Kitchen

Gypsy Kitchen

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