Valentines Day Champagnes and Roses

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Wine and roses how easy is that! Here’s some sure fire wines that will get your message going!
Ayala Brut Majeur List $53.29 Sale $47.99 90pts Wine Spectator
Piper Heidsieck Brut List $55.99 Sale $39.99 92pts Wine Spectator
Gonet Medeville Brut Premier Cru List $52.69 Sale $47.39 92pts Wine Spectator
Gossett Brut Excellence List $51.99 Sale $46.79 92pts Wine Spectator
Drappier Brut List $54.39 Sale $48.99 90pts Wine Spectator
Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Les Caves Du Prieure List $24.99 Sale $22.49
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose List $25.59 Sale $22.99 90pts Wine Spectator
Argyle Vintage Brut Grower Series List $27.99 Sale $24.99 90pts Wine Spectator
Sharffenberger Brut Excellence List $21.49 Sale $18.99 90pts Wine Spectator
Zardetto Prosecco Brut List $21.99 Sale $17.99 86pts Wine Spectator
Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava Brut List $11.99 Sale 10.49 87pts Wine Spectator
2013 Miraval Rose Jolie Pitt & Perrin List $31.29 Sale $28.19
2013 Minuty Cotes De Provence List $20.99 Sale $18.99 87pts Wine Spectator
2014 La Vieille Ferme Rose France List $11.49 Sale $10.29
2014 Fabre Montmayou Mendoza List $12.99 List $11.69
2014 Left Coast Cellars Rose of Pinot Noir List $17.99 List $16.19
2014 Acrobat Rose of Pinot Noir Oregon List $12.89 Sale $11.59 88pts Wine Enthusiast

Prices are per 750 ml All items available at our Huffman location. Select items available at Dimond and Jewell lake. To order call Mike at 907 677 9050 or email

Thank you and have a wonderful Valentines Day!
Mike McVittie, CSW
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House

FireTap Alehouse & North Coast Brewery

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Alaska Beer Week runs from Jan 14th to Jan 29th with the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival being the lynch pin. For our part we will be working with North Coast Brewing out of Mendocino and FireTap Ale House on Old Seward Hwy.
North Coast Brewing started in 1988 in Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast. The partners at the time wanted to run a brew pub, restaurant, brewery and most importantly live on the Mendocino coast! They could have built in a more metropolitan area but where’s the fun in that? As time went on their beers began to get quite the reputation. Just think, these guys were pre craft beer! What a crystal ball.
North Coast makes beautiful beers, ales and stouts. I find their beers to have an above average snap and acidity that lifts the palate yet there is a creaminess that just works! We will be trying their full range; Wheat, IPA, Saison, Belgian, Stout and the barrel aged brews a stout and an ale, aged 12 to 18 months in Whisky, Rye or Bourbon barrels. These brews are potent too at 12% to 14% alcohol.
Firetap is working on a menu to match these rich and flavorful beers. I can’t wait!
The Particulars
Wednesday, January 20th, 6pm, FireTap Ale House Old Seward Hwy, $50.00 per reservation.
Reservations can be made by calling 907 677 9050 or emailing

The Beers
Puck – Petite Saison
“Puck (has) the perfect blend of spicy dryness and fruity mouthfeel that make this release so special. While not too bitter, the presence of a light citrus flavor throughout makes the beer utterly refreshing”
Aaron Fowler, Akronite Magazine
Blue Star Wheat Beer – American Wheat Beer
“A rich entry leads to smooth, medium-bodied toasted malt palate with nice dry citrus (bitter lemon) and mild, bittering hops. This shows great balance and sorts plenty of flavors in a stylish manner.”
Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
PranQster – Belgian-Style Golden Ale
“PranQster follows in this tradition using a mixed culture of antique yeast strains that produce a floral nose, a full fruity flavor, and a clean finish.
Steller IPA – India Pale Ale
Muscat, spruce tips, and pennyroyal, North Coast Steller IPA is redolent of resinous terpenes: myrcene, linalool, pinene, and geraniol. An unparalleled hop happening.
North Coat Brother Thelonious – Belgian-Style Strong Dark
Designed after a Belgian “Dark Strong Ale,” this beer is rich and robust with an ABV of 9.4%.
Old Stock Ale (Barrel Aged)
Old Stock Cellar Reserve is a small batch, limited release that has been aged in rye whiskey and wheat whiskey barrels. The aging process gives this world-class beer added layers of complexity and flavor.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
“…The beer pours out with a frothy tan head that would make Starbucks envious. It’s loaded with chocolate and coffee aromas, some roasty notes and bready yeast. It’s a rich mouthful, sweet, even luscious, but nicely balanced by the hops….”
Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin
Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout, Old Rasputin, for a year to 18 months in freshly emptied spirits barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of these special releases, like their predecessors, make them a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin.

Thank You
Mike McVittie, CSW
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House

Charles Smith K Vintners

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Charles Smith burst on the wine scene like a super nova. The creator of House Wine, Kung Fu Girl, Boom Boom Syrah, Velvet Devil Merlot and so many others. All that, allows him to do this, K Vintners. This is where the true genius of Charles Smith shines. The concept here is to produce small quantities of superior quality wines that rival anything from anywhere. As you can imagine they are highly allocated. We only get just a few bottles! Being the loyal Wine House customer that you are I am making our pitiful allocation available to you. (And no Mike, Dan and TC are not allowed to buy any!) Check out the ratings below

2012 K Syrah Rock Garden Walla Walla
93-95 points, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
“The first vintage for the cuvee, the 2012 Syrah Rock Garden has fabulous aromas and flavors of plum, pepper, earth, spiced meats and underbrush that flow seamlessly to a full-bodied, layered and decadently textured Syrah that has polished tannin, no hard edges and a great finish. Given the amount of fruit and texture, it should be approachable on release, yet evolve gracefully for 10 to 15 years.”
$66.79 per 750ml

2013 The Boy Grenache
Not yet rated. 2011 received 93 points in Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
River Rock: Owned and farmed by Dana Dibble, planted in 2001. The site is located south of Walla Walla in the old Walla Walla River bed; the soil is rocky and with great drainage. The clone of Syrah sourced is Tablas Creek, which thrives in the big river stone cobble. This is the warmest site in the Walla Walla Valley.
Northridge: Alleuvial fan gravel bed, the site rests above the flood plain of the Columbia River. Under the topsoil is a layer of caliche and basalt 6-12” deep, creating a calcium and iron rich media that forces roots to struggle.
$50.19 per 750ml

2012 El Jefe Tempranillo Stoneridge Vineyard
92-94 points, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
“Aged in 80% new French oak, the 2012 El Jefe Tempranillo Stoneridge Vineyard gives up classic Christmas spice, cedar and graphite to go with a core of both red and black styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and with the tannic grip of the variety, this solid effort will benefit from short-term cellaring and evolve gracefully for over a decade.”
$61.59 per 750ml

2012 K Merlot Northridge Vineyard
92-95 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2012 Merlot Northridge comes from the Wahluke Slope and is made from 100% Merlot that was aged in 60% new French oak. Vibrant and up-front, with pure layered aromas and flavors of plum liqueur, graphite, mineral and assorted wild flowers, it is fullbodied, sweetly fruited and downright sexy on the palate, with a voluptuous, hard to resist profile. Loaded with fruit, it nevertheless stays graceful and very drinkable. It should drink nicely on release and evolve nicely for upward of a decade.”
$50.19 per 750ml

2012 K The Creator Cabernet/Syrah
93-95 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Moving to the Bordeaux styled releases and a blend of 70% Cabernet and 30% Syrah, the 2012 The Creator offers up a classic bouquet of cassis, lead pencil shavings and hints of herbs to go with a full-bodied, layered and balanced profile on the palate. Possessing fabulous Cabernet character, with rock star texture and building tannin, it will have another 12-15 years of prime drinking.”
$61.59 per 750ml

Thank You
Mike McVittie CSW, Court of Master Sommeliers L1
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House005

2013 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Here it is! Your next house wine! A bold robust Grenache from Spain. Big flavors, big fruits, dry, a touch rustic and the price, wow! It comes in wood boxes with no up charge. Frankly, I can’t see how they ship this up here for the money. Wait till you taste it!
Castillo de Monseran is located in the DO of Carinena in the old Kingship of Aragon. A modern co-op, San Valero, is the state of the art wine making facility. There are 700 grower members. So, yea, it’s a big place, but, these are 50 to 80 year old, head pruned, Grenache vines, hand harvested from the birthplace of Grenache. This is top quality fruit. They make two wines the Castillo de Monseran Garnacha and the Costillo de Monseran Garnecha Vieja.
Spain is one of the most heavily planted wine regions in the world. They have tons of old vine material. Their vineyards date back centuries and have true terrior. We just don’t have these kinds of grapes over here. Plus this wine will age a bit. Should hit it’s stride in 2-3 years but might go longer.
We’ve been working on this for months now. We purchased so you could buy by the case wood box and all for under 10 bucks a bottle.
The wine is available at all three locations Dimond Huffman and Jewel Lake. To order call Mike at 907 677 9050 or email

List Price $12.99
Bottle One Price $9.99
Case Price 12/750ml in Wood Box $99.99 Works out to $8.33 a bottle!

Thank You
Mike McVittie CSW, Court of Master Sommeliers L1
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House002

Ridge Vineyards Spring Releases

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Ridge Vineyards is an American Gran Cru. They own their own vineyards and practice organic farming. In fact all of their vineyards should be organic by 2017. The vineyards are carefully tended by hand. Much of their vines are head pruned and dry farmed. Many of their vineyard sites date to the 1840’s and new plantings utilize bud wood from the old vines.
This is true non industrialized wine making. It is as simple and non invasive as you can get. You will not see centrifuges and millipore filters here. Barrel work is simple and wines are allowed to fall bright. Selection is heavy for each wine produced. You can’t get finer more pure wine anywhere. Ridge is the only winery I know of that put their ingredients on the label. Did you know that there are 60 allowable legal additives around the globe? Check out this link HERE and HERE!
The good news is we get some. The bad news is it’s a trifle. Hi ho, sign up quick I have a case of each at Huffman. Well worth the investment. The wines will live and live and live!
To order phone 907 677 9050 (Huffman) or email

Mike McVittie, C.S.W., Court of Master Sommeliers L1
Wine Manager Anchorage Wine House

Current releases are:

2013 East Bench Zinfandel 100% Zinfandel from a vineyard situated in Dry Creek north of Healdsberg
Price per 750ml $32.99

2013 Paso Robles Zinfandel 100% Zinfandel from the Benito Dusi Ranch planted in 1922
Price per 750ml $34.49

2013 Geyserville Zinfandel 73% Carignane 17% Petite Sirah 9% Mataro (Mourvedre) 1% Produced since 1966 from a vineyard located on the western edge of Alexander Valley Sonoma Co.
Price per 750ml $41.79Ridge 2013 Geyserville

Grahm’s Special Old Vines Edition Six Grapes Porto

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Every once in a while a wine just stops me in my tracks. Like this Graham’s Six Grapes Special Old Vines Edition. It really blew me away! So I ordered up right then and there, that was five months ago. I wanted you to have it for Thanksgiving and Christmas but hey that’s life.
The complexity on this wine is amazing! Spices, minerals, orange peel, rich coating vibrant blue and black fruits, no brandy burn, this wine is so complex it makes me giddy! Age on these vines runs to sixty years. Quantity at harvest is half ton or less. Some of the older vines are only yielding two to three ounces of fruit! This is a blend of 2011 and 2012. 500 cases were produced. For a more detailed report go here.
I have 16 bottles a paltry amount but for the luck few…………..
One bottle limit.
To order phone 907 677 9050 or email Wine available at Huffman only.
Per 750ml
Thank You
Mike McVittie CSW
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House7276_SixGrapesSpecialoldB

Marietta Cellars Suite 100

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Wednesday, March 18th at 6pm will see us back at Suite 100 for a dinner and tasting with none other than Chris Bilbro owner and founder of Marietta Cellars! I am so excited to have Chris do an event for us! I have sold Marietta almost since it’s inception. All through the 80’s and 90’s Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red continued to be top rated (90+ points) in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. This was well before the red blend craze. Top that off with the Arme, Christo and the legendary Cuvee Angeli and we have a power house tasting.
Ed Lopez Marietta’s head of sales will also be on hand. Ed and I have worked together for years with myself in retail and Ed in supply. He is a wealth of knowledge and a blast to be around.
Today Chris is letting his sons take over as the winery moves into a new realm producing just four red wines. The everyday table wine Old Vine Red Lot # 61, Christo Lot #2, Arme Lot #1 and the top of the line vintage dated 2011 Angeli Cuvee.
I’ve preached this before but the icon of winedom, France, has always produced blends. They are called Bordeaux, Rhone, Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne and so on. In fact they don’t even tell you they are made from grapes. Hence it is perfectly logical for me to see the beauty in offering a Rhone blend “Christo” and a Bordeaux blend “Arme”.
The wines are further enhanced by barrel aging the components and blending across vintages providing both complexity and consistency. Lessons learned from years of making Old Vine Red. This is quite brave but the results in my book are exceptional!
Kelly Nichols chef/owner at Suite 100 is working on the menu as we speak. In fact it’s Kelly’s cooking that fills these tastings so quickly!
Tariff for this function is $65.00 per reservation. Reservations may be made by phone at 907 677 9050 or by emailing
Wine List
Meet & Greet
Lucian Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Rose
First Course
Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #61
Second Course
Marietta Christo Lot #2 Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Vioginer
Third Course
Marietta Arme Lot #1 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Fourth Course
Marietta Angeli Cuvee 2011 Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane

Thank You!
Mike McVittie CSW
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine HouseArme

Winery of the Year Charles Smith Dinner and Tasting at CampoBello Bistro

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Yes, you read that right. In 2008 Wine & Spirits magazine named Charles Smith’s K Vintners “Winery of the Year”. In 2009 Food & Wine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year”. Not bad for a self taught winemaker. Charles came to wine via a nine year stint producing rock bands in Denmark and Europe. In those days wining and dining was the natural thing to do. It created in Charles a passion for the finer wines in life. Retuning to Washington Charles set up a retail wine shop in Bainbridge WA. One thing led to another and today Charles Smith is large and in charge.
Heather de Savoye Northwest and International sales rep for the winery will be on had to explain the wines as we move through them.
We will be meeting in the private dining room of Campo Bello Bistro on Wednesday, Feb 25th, at 6pm. Reservations are $65.00 per person and maybe made by phone with Mike at 907 677 9050 or by emailing

Meet & Greet
Secco Italian Bubbles Bianco Brut

First Course
Fresh seasonal greens with a roasted garlic dressing
Kung fu Girl Riesling

Second Course
Crispy Prosciutto wrapped Cod with a light mustard cream
Vino Pinot Grigio

Third course
Duck Breast a’Lorange with roasted potatoes and sweet pea puree
Boom Boom! Syrah
Velvet Devil Merlot
Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon

Brandied Plum Trifle
K Vintners Syrah Milbrandt Vineyards Wahluke Slope

Thank you
Mike McVittie CSW
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House

k Vintners

King Estate & Suite 100 Everyone Wins!

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile.
Kelly (Chef/Owner Suite 100) loves challenging himself and his crew by creating delicious matches to the wines I bring him. This time it’s King Estate. Once the hallmark of Oregon Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Today they have a respectable line up of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Riesling and Rose! Mark my words the world will soon be abuzz about Oregon Chardonnay. You’ll see! As a special reward we will be sampling the 2010 NxNW Walla Walla Cabernet 52% Heather Hill, 48% Seven Hills. This is a rich aromatic Cabernet that can compete with any in the world.No surprise it’s Walla Walla fruit.
Here’s the specifics. We will be meeting on Wednesday, February 11th, 6pm at Suite 100. Tickets are $65 per person. Reservations may be made by calling 907 677 9050 or by emailing
The menu is a work in progress but here’s the wine line up.

Meet & Greet
Acrobat Rose of Pinot Noir
First Course
King Estate Signature Pinot Gris
King Estate Signature Chardonnay
Second Course
Acrobat Pinot Noir
King Estate Signature Pinot Noir
Third Course
NxNW Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon
NxNW Horse Heaven Hills Late Harvest Riesling

Mike McVittie CSW
Wine Manager Anchorage Wine House

2012 Andrew Hardy’s Little Ox Shiraz

Author: Mike  //  Category: Wine

Dear Oenophile
Ok, here’s the story. Andrew Hardy’s great great grandfather is Thomas Hardy founder of the famous “Thomas Hardy and Sons Wine Company”. Very talented, Andrew started his career with Brian Croser over at Petaluma, but that’s another story. Every year Andrew makes about 200 cases of Shiraz from cuttings off the original 1877 Tintara vineyard in McLaren Vale. The vineyard purchased by Thomas Hardy. These cuttings have been planted in a refurbished section. The resulting wine is spectacular. As a special note these vineyards (Bob’s Block and Pat’s Paddock) were tended by Andrew’s father until his death two years ago.
This is a 200 case run. I feel so very honored to have the opportunity to present it to you. A collectors piece, I hope many of you are starting verticals. That is, if you can stay out of it. Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar gave It 90pts. My notes. Red black in color. The nose shows oak with deep spiced blue and black fruits. The palate is seamless black fruit with well integrated tannin’s that add texture with out dryness. Coating and viscous there is an orange peal spice and lovely creamy wood vanilla. Layered and complex there are plenty of non fruit qualities. Firm and lengthy. My personal score is 17+/20.
To order call Mike at 907 677 9050 or email Wines available at all three locations Jewell Lake, Dimond and Huffman.

List Price $25.99
One btl price $21.99
Six btl Price $20.99
Twelve btl Price $19.99

One last thing. Ox is Andrews nickname. He uses it to differentiate between the two wines he makes. The Little Ox is from the cuttings and The Ox is from the 80 plus year old vines. Yep some of those old boys are still producing. Being the total geek that I am. I have a few bottles of ’05 The Ox. Robert Parker gave it 97 pts cost $111.39

Thank You
Mike McVittie CSW
Wine Manager
Anchorage Wine House