MKE Wine Craze

Located at Clear, in the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel

Wednesdays 5:30-8:30 PM

Indulge this month with immutable intensity as we pay tribute to the hunter’s moon. The primal awe of aggressive spice, gripping texture and killer precision is what defines the core of these beastly beverages.

Which will you prefer? $5 for a Tasting

October 1

Wine Tasting 2009, Kent Rasmussen Winery, Ramsay, Petite Sirah, North Coast, CA

Kent Rasmussen and Celia Ramsay are a husband-and-wife winemaking duo. For them, adventure began in a garage in 1986, before transitioning to St. Helena, Napa. Their passions for wine have led them to be very successful, especially with the Purely Poetic Pinot Noir. This has led to their Ramsay Label, creating a Petite Sirah that is as bold as Celia’s passion for music.

Hear Celia Sing | @KentRasWinery | #PetiteSirahOrg

Wine Tasting 2008 Fleur de California, Petite Sirah, Central Coast, CA

Napa produced many wine staples in the ‘70s, including this one, given life through Francis and Kathy Mahoney’s continuous pursuit of high-caliber wine. Today, Ken Foster is the creative talent behind the Mahoneys’ projects. His true forte is the creation of Pinot Noir, but he approaches all of the expressions of the Mahoney name with the same precision and luxurious texture, while always maintaining accessibility for any table.


October 8

Wine Tasting 2009 Spring Valley Vineyard Frederick Red, Walla Wall Valley, USA

Drive southeast from Seattle on Hwy 82, and you will come upon hill after hill of golden wheat grain and a vineyard with over a century of heritage. The Corkrum and Derby families have cultivated this land since the mid 1800s, and at one point it was farmland. The true beauty and strength of this estate is the family history and genuine consideration they give to their home region. Having survived depression after depression, love and loss, all of this has tempered into perseverance. In a tribute to this great family, they feature members on each style of wine they produce. Currently, Serge Laville is the winemaker behind one of Walla Walla’s premiere estate wineries. He puts the same emphasis and soul into the personality of each wine as if they were his own family members.

Watch - Timesline of Spring Valley Vineyard | Watch - Serge Laville Winemaker Interview | Serge Laville in Vineyard | #SpringValleyVineyards | #wallawalla

Wine Tasting 2008, Northstar Merlot, Columbia Valley, WA

Right on the precipice of Oregon, where one can step from one state to the next, lies an area truly perfect for Merlot. Short of hopping to Bordeaux, one can find a finesse that has translated so well to the region. This is in part due to Winemaker David “Merf” Merfeld, who has been highly influenced by the style of Right Bank Bordeaux. Northstar Winery’s acclaim is aided by its winemaker, but truly it is the special terrain that makes it such a force to behold. The drive of the winery is to be the guiding light to great wine and even more fantastic Merlot.

@northstarwinery | #merlot | #columbiavalley | Watch - Merlot from Vine to Glass

October 15

Wine Tasting 2011, Ernie Els, Merlot, Stellenbosch, S. Africa

Ernie Els is a PGA athlete that many consider one of South Africa's leading sportsmen. For over a decade many have viewed Ernie as an ambassador for the country. Like many, he has fallen into passion with wine and respects the harmony that it must abide by in nature. Because of this, many consider the region Ernie has chosen to be reminiscent of his pursuit of perfection, as considerable environmental seasoning produces wine of equal or greater intensity. The winery was born in 1999 with Winemaker Louis Strydom at the helm, striving to produce a premium product.

@ErnieElsWinery | #ErnieEls | @LouisStrydom

Wine Tasting 2007. Engelbrecht, Els Proprietor's Blend, Stellenbosch, S. Africa

It’s no surprise that at some point Ernie Els would work with Jean Engelbrecht to produce a wine with an exemplary level of precision. Engelbrecht is the current force behind Rust en Vrede, one of the premiere estates established in the country in the 17th century, as well as a true institution of quality in Stellenbosch.

@RustEnVrede1694 | #Engelbrecht

October 22

Wine Tasting 2009, Marietta Cellars Cuvee Angeli, Alexander Valley, US

The backbone of Marietta Cellars is its family. It started half a century ago at the table of family matriarch Great Aunt Marietta, who taught the virtues of good cooking, hard work and honesty. These traditions are carried on with the embodied spirit of what she held most dear. It has been a long time since Chris Bilbro sat at that very table eating and learning, but now he leaves a new generation to keep the tradition alive. Scot and Jake tend the vineyards and make the wine respectively, and they strive to keep the soul of the winery simple and approachable for many.

The 2014 Harvest | #mariettacellars | @TheZinfandelOrg

Wine Tasting 2009, Ridge Vineyards, Lytton Springs, Dry Creek Valley, US

This estate is a classic staple of California wine and truly an exemplary interpretation of Sonoma wine. Current CEO Paul Draper helps continue the standards and consistency to which many are accustomed. Tradition forms the core of quality for this vineyard; however, they are ever changing and keeping things fresh. In the last seven years, Ridge has been making efforts to be the largest producer of organic grapes. It is hard to disagree with the idea “better grapes equal better wines.”

@RidgeVineyards | #pauldraper | #johnolney | Watch: John Olney Intro to Ridge | Instagram: ridgevineyards | Ridge in the Morning | #mariettacellars | Watch - The Harvest Interviews

October 29

Wine Tasting 2011 Viña MontGras, Ninquen Antu, Cabernet Sauvignon - Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Viña MontGras boasts an enchanting placement high up on the hill for which it is named in the Colchagua Valley. Complemented with jagged granite jutting from the ground, and framed by the seemingly endless Andes Mountains, it is a masterpiece. In the ‘90s, owner Hernán Gras started from scratch on virgin soil and worked hard to have it pay off with his first bottling in 2000. Since then, it has been an uphill battle for Winemaker Santiago Margozzini, trying to find the right balance for the Cabernet and the style they want to produce with the tumultuous terrain they have chosen. Ultimately, the result of their tenacity has had quite a bountiful success for many to enjoy.

Viña MontGras & Andes Mountains | #carmenere | @MontGrasChile | @PalmBay_Wines

Wine Tasting 2011, Viña MontGras, Quatro, Colchacua Valley, Chile

As Head Winemaker of Viña MontGras, Santiago Margozzini is placed in the unique position to introduce many into the world of Chilean wine. It doesn’t hurt that many of his investments have accrued many accolades. This has given him the ability to place a spotlight on the future direction and success of Chilean wine. Right now, 2014 is the year for Chilean wine in America, as much of Chile’s wine exports to the country are responsible for a huge driving force.

#montgras | @prochile_us