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The Lunch Bunch at Fishcamp on 11th Street

in Food/Wine & Dine

By Margaret Evans

When I arrived a few minutes late for our gathering at Fishcamp on 11th Street, I was surprised to see the Lunch Bunch seated on the porch. It was August in Port Royal, after all. Nobody had warned me to wear my bathing suit.

I needn’t have worried. There were breezes off the water and fans over our heads, and we were perfectly cool as we perused the lunch menu.

But before we get to that, I must confess that Fishcamp could serve me a plate of rocks and I’d enjoy myself. Why? Location, location, location. 

Nestled alongside the historic Port of Port Royal shrimp docks, the place simply oozes character. With deepwater marsh and working shrimp boats on view from the expansive porch, and through the windows of the pleasingly rustic interior, the restaurant radiates a laid-back hospitality that just makes you feel good. This is where you want to take your out-of-town guests for that “authentic” Lowcountry seafood dinner.

But we were here for lunch, and I was hungry. 

Since the others were busy chatting with general manager Tonya Murphy and Chef Garrett Priester (right) I took advantage of their inattention and called dibs on the Fish Tacos. (We Lunch Bunchers avoid doubling up on orders; that way we get to try as many items as possible.) 

Betty ordered next – the Spinach Salad with Fried Oysters – and Jeff claimed the Fish ‘n Chips. Mike came in last with the Catch of the Day Fish Sandwich. (I think he really wanted the Fish Tacos, but hey, you snooze you lose.)

While we waited for our meals, we sampled a couple of appetizers. The calamari was good, especially if you like yours tender and not too crunchy on the outside. Our favorite were the Jalapeno Hushpuppies, which were like no hushpuppies I’ve ever tasted. Not as spicy as the name suggests – just a little kick – and they’re wonderfully textured and delicious, especially slathered with Fishcamp’s homemade honey butter. Really something special.

Mike is our soup guy, and he started with the Chef’s Soup of the Day, Tomato Crab Bisque, which he immediately deemed “amazing.” Between bites, he elaborated, calling it “incredibly fresh, rich, and tomatoey.”

And now the entrees were arriving.

Betty raved about her Spinach Salad, chock-full of yummy stuff like red onions, cucumbers, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and candied Georgia pecans. And then there was the icing on the cake – or oysters on the salad, as it were. “I asked for fried oysters on top – it wasn’t on the menu – and they said ‘sure’!” This answer made Betty very happy, as did the fried oysters, which were superb.

Jeff is a Fish ‘n Chips fan from way back, and he’s sampled the dish all over the Western world … including Beaufort. Fishcamp’s version stacked up nicely, with tasty, flaky flounder and “just the right ratio of breading to fish.” The fries were good, and the coleslaw sweet and crunchy, just the way I like it. (Yes, I picked on his plate. He’s used to it.)

Mike thoroughly enjoyed his Catch of the Day Fish Sandwich, and was particularly glad the Mahi wasn’t over-fried. (You can also get it grilled or blackened.) Served with lettuce and tomato on a pretzel bun, what’s not to love?

Last, but certainly not least, my Fish Tacos. I’ve rarely met a fish taco I didn’t like, but these were truly outstanding. I had my fish grilled – again, fried and blackened are options – and it practically melted in my mouth, along with the flavorful textures of roasted corn, black bean salsa, Calabrese chili aioli, and the aforementioned slaw. “Two thumbs up” is an understatement. Throw in a pinky.

We were all feeling fat and happy and ready for naps when our server broached the subject of dessert. “Oh no, we couldn’t possibly …” But of course, we did.

Fishcamp produces five different homemade desserts daily, and we felt it was our journalistic duty to sample each of them. The staff favorite is the Key Lime Pie, which took 30 attempts to perfect, according to Chef Priester. It was worth it! Perfection achieved. 

My personal favorite, however, was the Bread Pudding – there are no words to describe it, so you’ll just have to try it – while others at the table were enamored of the Crème Brulee, the Oreo Lemon Cheese Cake, and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse, respectively. 

There was literally something for everybody, and everybody indulged.

And now we really were ready for naps. 

As we left the breezy porch, past the picturesque rope swings and the outdoor bar – where there’d be live music later – we thanked the friendly staff, bid the scenic view farewell, and vowed to return as soon as humanly possible. 

Maybe happy hour?



Fishcamp on 11 th Street

1699 11th Street

Port Royal, S.C.


Open Seven Days a Week

Lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sunday Brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Happy Hour 4-6 p.m.

Dinner from 4 p.m.

Bar Open Late

Everything Burgandy from a totally unique source

in Food/Wine & Dine


One beautiful aspect of French wines is they are unique to the regions in which they grow. 

California has varietals that can be grown, from the same grape, throughout the country. 

In France, you can only have a Chardonnay from the Loire Valley. It is unique because it can only be produced from a grape grown there and a wine produced there.

But that doesn’t mean the Chardonnay grape cannot be grown outside of that valley. 

Chardonnay is a green skinned grape grown in almost every wine producing country in the world. Chardonnay, more than most any other variety, reflects the soils and climates where it is grown –  the “terroir.” –  and is easily affected by the winemaker’s style – oak aging, stainless steel tanks, malolactic fermentation, etc. 

It is the second most widely grown grape in the world and is very malleable. France’s Burgundy region is home to some of the greatest Chardonnay wines ever, because of the soil and climate. 

But across France, on the Atlantic coast, a tiny community at the mouth of the Loire River has a unique soil and climate which produces Chardonnay grapes of a unique complexity. 

There are 87 different AC wine areas along the 350 miles of the Loire River, which runs from the just outside the Burgundy region out to the Atlantic. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Muscadet are the primary white varieties. 

Muscadet – originally known as Melon de Bourgogne – was originally thought to be the only grape grown at the river delta. But he Couillaud family, owners and producers of Chateau de Ragptière Muscadet, also make a Chardonnay from their Domaine de Bernier estate.

Domaine de Bernier Chardonnay is not an AC level wine. Because the Loire Valley has no sites that are classified for AC Chardonnay. 

But this Chardonnay is IGP classified. (Indication Geographique Protegée) IGP was a new classification in the French wine laws in 2010. It replaced both the VDQS and Vins de Pays levels. 

IGP wines do control where qualified wines come from. So consumers are protected when they buy. Always important.

The Bernier Chardonnay was a pet project for members of the Couillard family. Because they felt the soil where their Muscadet grew was close in makeup to the soil of Chablis. 

One of Burgundy’s great sources for Chardonnay. The birth of unique! This wine is 100 percent Chardonnay, grown on rocky metamorphic and schist soil. Only about 5,000 cases are made each year, from 6,500 vines. 

After harvest, the grapes are sorted on vibrating tables and, then, pressing is done with a pneumatic press. Fermentation is done completely in stainless steel tanks with 80 percent of the wine going through a malolactic fermentation. 

No oak aging, but the wine is aged on its lees. This adds weight and texture. 

The finished Bernier Chardonnay is clean and crisp with fresh apple, pear and lemon aromas and flavors. And an intense minerality on its finish. 

A delicious “copy” of what Burgundy can produce, just from a totally unique source. For $11.99 at Bill’s Liquors. Also, totally unique. Enjoy.

Some wines are worthy of a promotion

in Food/Wine & Dine

By Celia Strong

Yep. Wines do get promotions. 

Not new job titles, exactly, but new upgraded legal designations. Which means they’re doing a good job and deserve to be recognized. And, surprise, sell for a higher price.

France was the first European country to recognize the value that quality controls would give to their wine industry. In 1935, they established their “Appellation d’Origine Controllée” laws. Federal laws with exact specifications for each region. And even for individual towns and vineyard sites in some cases. 

These laws regulated grape varieties, growing practices, bottle shapes, label information and more. Plus below this top AOC (or AC) level, there are several lesser tiers with less strict regulations. In 2003, a wine from the tier below AOC, known as VDQS, got a promotion. This wine was Sauvignon de Saint-Bris.

Saint-Bris is a village. It is located in the northern part of the Burgundy region, just south of the town of Chablis. Traditionally, Sauvignon Blanc was not considered to be a top quality grape for the Burgundy region. Its white wines had to be Chardonnay. 

Traditionally, Sauvignon Blanc was not thought to be suited for Burgundy’s soil and climate. And, traditions in French wine regions are tough. If a variety or technique or whatever is not traditional, it can be almost impossible for a wine to be approved for an upgrade. Saint-Bris wines, though, made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, got past some rigid Burgundy traditions and got their promotion.

Simonnet-Febvre is a producer based in Chablis. Founded in 1840, they are known for their high quality Chablis wines. Today, they are a satellite of the well-known Louis Latour company. 

Their Saint-Bris is made from grapes grown in limestone and clay soil. On vines with an average age of 25 years. These soils encourage the Sauvignon Blanc grapes to show their full range of aromas, flavors and minerality.

The vineyards for these grapes in Saint-Bris are cooler, which lets the grapes ripen slowly. And develop more intense flavors for the finished wines. Fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks at temperatures from 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. After, the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks for six to eight months. And malolactic fermentation is done 100%. 

There are less than 150 acres growing grapes for this wine. Which is not much!

The finished wine is a pale, golden color. With some light green highlights. It has intense aromas that include tropical and exotic fruits (peaches, mangos, starfruit, kumquats), subtle lemons and grapefruits, notes of white flowers, a bit of fresh green grass, light thyme and chive nuances. And flavors that echo all these aromas. Plus more. 

All with a great structure, and fresh acidity. A great apéritif wine, perfect with salads, shellfish, seafood, light cream sauces, cheeses, cold roast chicken, gravlax, and on and on. 

Yum! Drink the promotion. For $14.99 at Bill’s Liquors. Enjoy. 

Tasting the bright side of the moon

in Food/Wine & Dine


Discovering a new wine, week after week, is definitely a great life plan. 

Sure, there’s a little bit of work that goes with it. Learning about it. Tasting it. But, not really any hardship there. 

Sonoma Valley, the source for this week’s new wine, has a great history with wine. In fact, it is known as the birthplace of the California wine industry. 

The valley is located in the southeastern corner of Sonoma County, in the San Francisco Bay area. The city of Sonoma is in the valley and parts of Santa Rosa also.

There are some tidbits of history about this valley, though, that make it especially interesting. 

Before Spanish settlers, the coastal Miwok, Pomo and Wintun indigenous tribes inhabited what is now the Sonoma Valley. To them, it was known as the Valley of the Moon. 

In 1823, Mission Solano was the northern most of 21 California missions controlled by Franciscan monks. But within two generations, the Spaniards had secularized the missions. And dispossessed the indigenous people from their lands. 

The name Valley of the Moon was recorded in 1850, though. Also, author Jack London, claimed the name “Sonoma” was the Native American word for “Valley of the Moon.”

London personally owned a ranch in the Valley of the Moon, where he and his descendants lived. In the 20th century, their back yard was a vineyard for the winery that eventually took the valley’s name. 

The Madrone Estate, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and most historic wine producing properties in Sonoma. It was purchased by the Stewart family in 2012, renovated, and dedicated to estate grown varietal wines. With the Valley of the Moon label.

Sonoma Valley wines are made from many grape varieties. This week there are two to look at. 

First, Pinot Blanc, a white grape that is a mutation of Pinot Noir. Despite its inauspicious beginnings, Pinot Blanc is a versatile grape that is used to make still, sparkling and dessert wines. 

Before its true identity was known, it was often thought to be a lesser version of Chardonnay. Its wines are medium to full bodied with good acidity and can do well with oak aging. Their aromas and flavors include apples, pears, peaches, lemon zest, almonds, a touch of smokiness, some possible floral hints and a gravelly, minerally finish. 

Although it is grown in most wine producing countries, Pinot Blanc is not a well known variety in the United States, not like in France and Germany, but it’s always worth seeking out for its uniqueness. (The ones we find are always good!)

The second variety for this week is Viognier. 

Another white grape that produces fuller bodied, perfumy wines with peach, tangerine, honeysuckle and almonds and hazelnuts as its primary aromas and flavors. (It also has mango, rose and citrus notes.) Viognier wines tend to have a juicy, almost oily, texture and are very complex, with layers and layers of subtle nuances.

Valley of the Moon produces a blend from these two varieties. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve all the fresh fruit flavors and aromas. 

The blend is 85 percent Pinot Blanc and 15 percent Viogneir. From Sonoma, Pinot Blanc leans toward tropical fruits. And with malolactic fermentation, these stay vibrant in this wine. 

Sonoma Viognier has a huge, lush mouthfeel and loads of floral character. A glass of this wine has lots of peach and honey, pineapple and a ginger spiciness. 

A totally unique wine that really is the bright side of the moon. For $12.99 at Bill’s Liquors. Enjoy.

Lily & Lou’s takes up residence in Habersham

in Food/Wine & Dine


Habersham’s Marketplace is a step back in time, accented by shops, bistros and dining facilities, featuring artisanal products and tasty cuisine. To its distinguished list of culinary options, add the new Lily & Lou’s Eatery and Market, which is filling the space formerly occupied by Lazy Susan’s Cafe & Creperie.

The new co-owners, Kate and Jack Cosentino recently relocated from Minnesota with the idea that a work/live residence just might be the right fit at this point in their careers. 

According to Kate, who ran a successful photography studio, she believed neither she nor her husband were actually ready for retirement. 

“Jack, having recently left his high-pressure job as a medical consulting CEO, and I were looking to the future,” she said. “We took a road trip south with the goal to scout out what might catch our fancy when we did officially retire.”

Florida was their first thought, but it was dismissed after several follow-up visits, which eventually “opened our eyes to South Carolina.”

“Let’s get our hands dirty, and make pretty,” noted Kate whimsically. “Why not?”

Jack loves to cook – gyros are just one of his specialties – and Kate was always a baker at heart. Now, they have their chance.

They have decided to keep the cafe and market format, as they felt that type of facility was needed not only for Habersham residents, but Beaufort at large.

A soft opening

They have held a “soft opening,” which garnered them feedback from first-time diners.

Dismissing a grand opening, Kate and Jack wanted to open their doors in a casual manner. They wanted to meet their new neighbors, as they would if they invited them to their home. 

“No Yelp, nor NextDoor marketing push,” Kate said. “We wanted to have conversations as to how to improve their dining experience for their patronage and well as their new staff.”

They created breakfast and lunch menus, and having just secured a wine and beer license, they will soon be offering cigars, wine and charcuterie offerings in the evenings.

Something that Beaufortonians will be happy to learn, the Cosentinos also decided to be one of the few restaurants in town to be opened daily, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will also man a market for convenience items, such as milk, butter, sauces and some of the ingredients used in their menus.

Survey says

For breakfast, the jury is in, and hands down the “Ooey Gooey Carmel Pecan Roll” is the most popular item. Gluten-free, it is a brown sugar- honey- and cinnamon-glazed sticky roll, smothered with southern pecans.

According to Kate, “the best and most popular lunch item thus far is their “Naughty Greek.” While Greek-style, this one is marinated for 2 days, hand-stacked, slow cooked and cut traditionally from a vertical rotisserie. It is served on a warm pita with pickled onions, cucumbers and a to-die-for tzatziki.

With a catchy play on words, a “Shamwich” features Kate and Jack’s signature egg soufflé, with thick cut bacon, cheddar cheese and Dijonnaise mustard, served on a ciabatta roll.

For diners relocating from the North, they’ll be happy to know Lily & Lou’s will be serving New York Bagels, toasted with butter and/or cream cheese.

Certified barbecue judging class coming to Columbia

in Food

Seriously, could their be a better job in the world than judging barbecue?

If your answer is no, or even maybe, keep reading.

The S.C. Barbecue Association (SCBA) will hold a class July 27 in Columbia to train new barbecue judges. The class will be run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the recreation hall at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, located at 1715 Bull St. 

Registration is open to members of the SCBA, and memberships are available for $35 for an individual or $60 for a family. Seminar cost is $50 per person, which includes, of course, a catered barbecue lunch. 

The all-day seminar is the first step in becoming a SCBA Certified Barbecue Judge. After completing the class, potential judges will continue their training with hands-on experience as novice judges at three SCBA-sanctioned barbecue competitions. 

Competitions are held around the state at festivals and fairs, as well as other community events or stand-alone barbecue contests. 

Those interested in becoming SCBA certified judges and attending the July 27 seminar should email SCBA President Jim Wellman at to request an SCBA membership application and judging seminar registration form. 

You may also apply and register online at 

Comfort wine is a new Pinot Grigio

in Food/Wine & Dine


Always a favorite. Especially if the new is sort of similar to others. 

Sort of a bit different so it stands out and on its own. At a good price so trying it is easy. Trying it a lot is also easy. 

Comes from a known winery so it’s not a total stranger. Yes, new, but comfortable. Like comfort food.

So, beginning with from where. 

Washington State is not the “where” that comes to mind first for Pinot Grigios. This state is known for Merlots and Cabernets, and, for white wines. Riesling is its star. Followed by Chardonnay. 

But previous lessons have covered the rise in popularity of Pinot Grigio. And its ability to make good wines wherever it is grown. 

The first wine grapevines were planted in the state in 1825, at Fort Vancouver. Unfortunately, there is no record of any wines being made from these first plantings. 

German and Italian immigrants, in the 1860s and 1870s were the first who are known to have definitely made wines in Washington. In 1917, Washington was one of the first states to usher in Prohibition. 

After that, their modern wine industry did not reboot until the 1950s.

Grape growing in Washington is very much controlled by the geography across different parts of the state. The Cascade Mountains keep marine influences from the Pacific Ocean and the Puget Sound from reaching eastern Washington, where conditions are almost desert-like. Irrigation is allowed, though. Frosts and hard freezes can cause a lot of destruction to the vines. 

On the good side, the soils in the vineyards’ soils are sandy, stone-studded, lava, and along with the dryness, all together make unfriendly conditions for many vineyard diseases. Like phylloxera. Pinot Grigio, when grown in cooler climates like Washington State, has higher levels of natural fruit acids, a good thing, and a spicy tang in its flavors. Cooler temperature fermentation enhances the freshness and fruitiness of its wines.

Hogue Cellars was founded in 1982 by Mike and Gary Hogue. They are located in the Columbia Valley, Washington’s premiere grape growing region. Warm summer days and cool nights over the growing season lets the grapes ripen fully and still maintain their natural acidity. 

The grapes are harvested at night or very early morning so they are cool. This preserves their fresh fruit flavors. After a gentle whole-berry pressing, fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks at 48 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Seventy percent of the grapes for this wine are grown in the cooler Yakima Valley. Eighteen percent come from Snipes Mountain and 12 percent from Columbia Valley.

Small amounts of Gewurztraminer (to support the Pinot Grigio’s natural spiciness), and Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat Canelli (all to enhance the fruit flavors) are added in. 

This wine is light to medium bodied, with a pale yellow color. Even served very cold it has aromas and flavors that include lemons, yellow and green apples, melons, nectarines, peaches, ginger, orange blossoms and honeysuckle. And a distinct minerality with its lingering acidity finish.

Grown in a cooler climate but perfect for warm weather. A perfect comfort wine. For $8.99 at Bill’s Liquors. Enjoy.

Finally, the white is here

in Food/Uncategorized/Wine & Dine


The white wine is here. And just in time. 

Not just because new white wines become a priority for some wine drinkers in the hot summer months. But, also, because the complete set of a brand is now available. Red. Rosé. And, finally, the white.

Gerberas’ white wine comes the Aragon region in Spain. Like its red and rosé cousins, Aragon is located in northeastern Spain. It stretches from the Pyrenees Mountains south to the Iberian plateau. (The whole of Spain and Portugal is the Iberian Peninsula.) 

Catalonia is to the east of Aragon, and Rioja, Navarra and Castilla y Leon are to its west. All other Spanish wine regions. 

The Ebro River, the largest and most important in Spain, flows eastward through Aragon. And defines the various Aragon wine areas in its valley. 

The name Aragon comes from either a smaller river in the region with the same name, or from the Basque word “Aragoi” that means “high valley.”

The climate of Aragon is moderate with the vineyard elevations determining how moderate. Recently, a Cava DO status was granted in Aragon. (Cava is the designation for Spanish sparkling wines, mostly from the Catalonia region.) There are several wine DOs in Aragon – Somontano, Cariñena, Calatayud, Campo de Borjia.

Gerberas Bianco is made from 100 percent Macabeo. This variety is also known as Viura, Macabeu, Lardot and about a dozen lesser known more localized names. 

Besides large plantings in northeastern Spain in the Rioja and Cava producing areas, it is also grown in the Languedoc-Rousillon area of France. It is often used in blends, but as more modern winemaking techniques are adopted, like stainless steel and temperature controlled fermentations, it is making wonderful wines on its own. 

Its wines tend to have a bone dryness, light to medium bodies, moderate acidity and not too high alcohol levels. The flavors include honeydew melons, lime peels, lemon verbena, tarragon and hazelnuts. 

Janis Robinson, an icon in wine tasting and wine writing, calls Macabeo the “Cinderella” grape. Because, in recent years, it has been “discovered” as capable of making excellent wines.

Gerberas Macabeo follows Gerberas Garnacha and Gerberas Garnacha Rosé as a great sipping, food friendly everyday affordable wine. 

The grapes for it are grown in alluvial soils in the foothills of the Moncayo mountain. After harvesting and crush, the must is chilled for a short time with the skins. 

Fermentation is long and slow, in stainless steel tanks, at controlled temperatures between 71 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The finished wine is delicate with fruity and floral notes. Ripe peaches. Lemons. Lime zest. Stone fruits. Nuts. White flowers. 

All come together in a very dry, light, but definitely textured body. The palate is clean and fresh and exhilarating.

Perfect as an aperitif, but it also pairs well with grilled fish, shellfish, sushi, baked chicken, salads, pasta with seafood white sauces or just olive oil and grated cheese, pizzas with anchovies and olive oil, fried foods, pesto, risotto, and lots of cheeses – Manchego, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Gouda, Triple Cremes. Pretty much summer foods. 

And it’s easy to find with the yellow gerberas daisy on its label. It’s finally here. For $9.99. Enjoy.

Wine With An Attitude

in Food/Wine & Dine


A wine’s name can reveal a lot about the wine, from its reason for being to our reason for drinking it. And, as usual, a good name is a good way to remember the wine. This week, it’s all about Attitude.

The Loire Valley in western France has a long history with wine. There is archeological evidence that the Romans planted the first vineyards there in the 1st century AD. Viticulture, the growing and tending of wine grape vines, flourished in this area for several reasons: The soils and microclimates here are well-suited to vines; the valley, with its rich soils, is a little bit warmer than areas just to the north and south of it; and, a variety of soil types from one end of the Loire River to the other allow a large variety of different grapes to succeed there.

Besides wine grapes, the valley was a great source for many other agricultural products, including cherries, artichokes, asparagus, and fruit trees of all sorts. It was known as the Garden of France.

In addition, and because of its milder climate, the 300-mile river became the location for many extravagant chateaux. In past centuries, French nobility built summer castles in the Loire Valley. Some French kings even built one chateau in one town for their wives and legitimate children and extended families, and another a few miles away in another town for their mistresses. There’s an attitude! 

Domaine Pascal Jolivet (joe-lee-vay) was established in 1987. The family had started as wine merchants, father Louis and his son Lucien. In 1982, Louis’ grandson, Jacques, founded his own distributing company and encouraged his 22-year-old son Pascal to work at Maison Champagne Pommery when he was 22 years old. Contacts from Champagne backed Pascal with his own wine brand under his own name.

Pascal built his new wine cellar in Sancerre at the far eastern end of the Loire River.  From his experience in the Champagne region, he used state-of-the-art equipment, like temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. (At the end of the 20th century, stainless tanks were not as commonly used as now.) And, despite not owning any vines or vineyards in the beginning, Pascal insisted on using 100% indigenous yeasts and all natural winemaking. He acquired his first land in 1995, and his Sancerre wines were twice named by the Wine Spectator in its Top 100 wine lists. Over the years, Jolivet has grown in land holdings, reputation and awards and added a new bottling cellar.

Attitude is a group of three wines (a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir and a Rosé).  Pascal’s goal with this label is to produce high quality Loire wines, just not necessarily from Sancerre. They are produced from a 57-acre estate located to the west of Sancerre, in the Touraine part of the Loire Valley. (It is worth noting, two of the most famous chateaux, Cheverny and Chambord, border his vineyards.) This estate has two distinct soil types — limestone in some places and sandy in others. All three wines are made with natural winemaking and practices that are environmentally-friendly.   Pascal’s philosophy is let nature take its course. Attitude Rosé is the result of this.

This wine is a blend of 34% Pinot Noir, 33% Cabernet Franc and 33% Gamay. All three varieties are grown in different sites and appellations along the river. These grapes are grown in chalky and calcareous clay soils, all organically. Both soils help enhance the grapes’ fruit aromas and freshness. Grapes are hand-harvested and maceration is done before hand sorting and de-stemming. After pressing, the juices of each variety are slow fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel tanks.  

Attitude Rosé, with its precise blend of grapes, is a unique, almost sensual shade of bright rosy pink. Its aromas and flavors include strawberries, red raspberries, currants, peaches, mangos, red plums and green herbs like thyme and basil. It is medium-bodied with crisp, balanced flavors and a refreshing acidity. It is young and vibrant and full of attitude — everything Pascal meant it to be. For $14.99. Enjoy.

The perfect wine habit negator

in Food/Wine & Dine


Wine drinkers are often creatures of habit. They might like one grape variety but not another. 

They might like any Chardonnay with oak aging somewhere in its production. They might swear they don’t like any wine from a certain country. Or a certain winery. 

Since the goal is to learn more about wines, and have fun doing it, some habits are just going to have to

be negated. And, once the first habit is broken, how easy to do more negating! 

During hot summer weather, officially this week, many wine drinkers cling to their Pinot Grigios to get through the heat and humidity. Mostly Italian and American. 

But bet no one ever thinks of a German Pinot Grigio! A delicious bad habit breaker!

Villa Wolf Pinot Gris is from the Pfalz region of Germany in the southeastern part of the country. It is one of the wines from the J. L. Wolf Estate which is run by Dr. Ernst Loosen. 

The Pfalz is the second largest wine region in Germany, and the Loosen name and reputation for quality wines from there is very highly regarded. 

Villa Wolf winery was established in 1756. With an actual villa built on the site in 1843. Dr Loosen took control of Villa Wolf winery and wines in 1996.

Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris, is not the norm in German wine production. Habit breaker. 

Often, in this country, it is called by other names – Grauburgunder or Rülander. 

Grown in Germany, this variety tends to be harvested early to exploit the grapes’ acidity and minimize its overt fruitiness. Much like with many Italian producers. 

Germany has only about 12,000 acres planted with Pinot Gris.

Made from 100% Pinot Gris, the Villa Wolf grapes are sustainably grown according to strict German environmental regulations. 

Extensive, day-by-day attention to the estate’s vineyards makes it possible for every vintage to produce quality wines.

Vine training, pruning, shading, and hand-harvesting are all needed for healthy crops. And quality wines. These Pinot Gris grapes are fermented in a combination of stainless steel (for intense fruit aromas and flavors), large neutral oak casks (for depth and complexity) and concrete tanks. 

The wines from all three fermentations are blended, lightly filtered and, then, bottled bottled. Malolactic fermentation is avoided, to maintain crispness and balanced flavors. This Pinot Gris is fuller bodied, dry and fresh. And unoaked. It is a light gold color, with aromas and flavors of citrus rinds,

peaches, apples and melons. And, some floral qualities. All zesty and fresh in your mouth.

The finished wine has 12.5 percent alcohol, higher than most German wines.

So, the Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Gris, habit is safe. Phew! An excellent variety to choose for the summer heat. Just negating the habitual Italian and American as the only choices. 

What fun. For $11.99. Enjoy.

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