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  • Writer's pictureStuart Ray

Vintner’s Cellar Cochrane April 2022 Newsletter

Trivia Question

What feeds yeasts and thereby drops as alcohol levels rise during fermentation?

Answer is at the bottom of the last page of the newsletter

Wine of The Month – Barbera

Recognized for its intensity of color and good structure of tannin and acid, it presents nuances of gooseberries and a smoky, peppery bouquet and is often added to a blend to liven it up. Smooth on the palate this wine ages well and mellows with time. Barbera can be grown in warmer climates without producing overblown, flat wines. Even warmer sites in Sonoma Valley and the Sierra Foothills of California have produced balanced Barbera-based wines. This acidity complements the cherry flavors found in typical Barbera wines and has contributed to the (largely justified) stereotype of Italian red wines as being ripe, bright and tangy rather than voluptuous and earthy. When young, most Barbera wines have a bright-red cherry character, distinguished from Nebbiolo (which often overshadows Barbera) by softer tannins and a certain roundness. When matured in barrel and allowed to age in bottle for a few years, this turns to a denser, sour-cherry note. A warm, Merlot-like plumminess is also commonly detectable, although the variety is more closely related to Mourvèdre than Merlot.

Comparable Wines: Red Zinfandel

Pairing: Lasagna and red meats pair well with this wine.

Oak: Heavy Body

Full Aging: 9-12 months

Available In: Supreme Sterile Juice Only

Recipe of the Month

Grilled Ham and Cheese with Strawberry -Red Wine Jam

Ingredients (yields four sandwiches)

Eight slices of your favorite bread (I like a heavier sandwich so I go for sour dough)

1\2 cup of strawberry jam mixed with four tablespoons of Vintner’s Cellar Pinot Noir (reserve the rest of the bottle to drink with your sandwich)

Four slices of smoked ham

Four thick slices of Guyere cheese

Butter softened for easy spreading

Freshley grated parmesan cheese


Spread jam on one side of each piece of bread, add one slice of ham and one slice cheese to four of the slices and place the other slice making the sandwich.

Spread butter on both sides of the sandwich. Then place the fresh parmesan on the butter pressing firmly to make the cheese stick to the slice.

Brown the sandwiches in a hot skillet until golden brown on both sides. Enjoy with the remaining Vintner’s Cellar Pinot Noir.

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