Sign in | Register now Like us on FacebookLike Us | Follow us on TwitterFollow Us

Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thu
Hi: 78
Lo: 64
Fri
Hi: 78
Lo: 61
Sat

Lo: 61
Advertise on OnMilwaukee.com

In Bars & Clubs Blogs

Stephan Fitz (standing) knows his wine and makes Wine Craze a must for any Milwaukee-area oenophile.

Crazy about Wine Craze


After months of hoping to get to InterContinental's Wine Craze, held every Wednesday evening in the Clear lobby bar, I finally made it last night.

The hotel's Stephan Fitz, who is a passionate ambassador of wine, introduced me, OnMilwaukee.com's Sid Bedi -- a certified beer taster, but a wine neophyte -- wine expert Erica van Heerden and others tasted two reds from the Silver Oak family of vintners.

First up was 2003 Twomey Merlot -- made by Napa's Silver Oak team with grapes from the Twomey Valley -- which is apparently a hot seller in the $40-$50 range. This is the kind of Merlot that will force you to rethink your Merlot grape gripe.

It has unusual green olives on the nose and a pleasant smokiness on the tongue. But the great body (thank you kindly for the tannins Cabernet Franc!) and the clean finish are what will have you raving to your oeno-friends.

Next up was Silver Oak's acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon. Fitz says that Silver Oak sells out of its annual production of this astonishingly consistent wine year after year, at about $100 a bottle.

Part of its success, according to Fitz, is that Silver Oak will dump an entire vintage if it doesn't meet the winery's exacting standards. That makes for a reliable wine and a devoted following.

Great oakiness with a dose of vanilla thanks to the American made barrels. It's smoky, deep and rich, with hints of tart cherries, raspberries and molasses, but as a Barbera fan I loved the burnt rubber undertones that it shares with the traditional unoaked Barberas.

Add a satisfying astringency and mouth feel and you've got the evening's winner (if this had been a competition).

But the real winners were those of us sampling these wines, enjoying good company (and delicious appetizers) and witnessing Stephan's passion for wine and hearing his stories of Barcelona, a city he's equally passionate about.

Get your Wine Craze on every week at InterContinental. Next week there's a Brunello di Montalcino on tap, along with a sumptuous French selection.


Talkbacks

mippers | June 17, 2010 at 11:06 a.m. (report)

I haven't been to this event, but can attest to Stephan's passion for and knowledge of wine. My lovely girlfriend and I dined there a few weeks ago and his wine recommendation was spot on. He steered us away from one of the discounted wines we were considering and instead pointed us to a similarly-priced bottle that was among the best I have ever enjoyed.

Rate this:
  • Average rating: 0.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
1 comment about this article.
Post a comment / write a review.

Facebook Comments

Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.