Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vino Volo - For the Wine Lover in You

Vino Volo in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport
I have a new place that I love spending time when I am traveling and stuck waiting for flights in an airport. It is Vino Volo! Yup--wine available in the airport to calm my nerves, make me feel better and help me learn more about my favorite beverage. 

Vino Volo offers a wine club that provides an expensive wine tasting for a reasonable, $2 price. That alone is worth the visit. But wait, there's more! 

Vino Volo offers a relaxing wine respite in the middle of the busiest airports imaginable. Some airports, like Denver, have two Vino Volo's. 

The shop offers wine tastings--flights of wine constructed to expand the palate and introduce new wines of a similar characteristics to the taster. It is a great way to expand wine horizons AND they offer food too! Each of the wines is served with a specially designed information sheet that explains the wine and the flavors. And they sell the wine too--so if you like it, buy it. 

So instead of grabbing a day old sandwich from some unknown place to take on a flight--stop into Vino Volo's and drink wine and eat a made to order gourmet sandwich while waiting to for the opportunity to be crammed into another too small airplane seat.

Join the club. I love tasting $65 bottles of wine for $2! I enjoy their selection of interesting wines which changes monthly to maintain its creativity while also including some local wines. 

RECOMMENDATION: Join the club and stop buy your nearest Vino Volo to enjoy the wine.

-- Bob Doan, Writing from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, Washington

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wine--the Easy Way

Consider, for a moment, that you are standing in a wine store confronted by hundreds of choices trying to buy a wine to take to a friend's house for dinner. 

How much should you spend on a bottle of wine?

What wine is best with what they are serving for dinner--and of course you haven't a clue what's being served for dinner. 

What do they like?

Panic is setting in and enveloping you. The only wine you enjoy is ones that other people pick out. You feel overwhelmed and totally unprepared for the task you are facing.

Your palms are sweaty. 

Stop and take a quick assessment of the situation.

Do you like white or red wines? Sweet or dry? You wonder, should I spend $35? $25? $15 on a bottle of wine? 

Advice: I am a red wine drinker, but in this situation I am going to bring a bottle of white wine, probably a German Riesling,  between $15 and $20 to take as a dinner gift. 


Because Riesling is a solid wine that goes with many dishes and stands alone well. Also, most wine drinkers prefer white wines over red wines.

You will be a genius! 

-- Bob and Chris Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wines from the Texas Hill Country

When I think of the Texas Hill Country west of Austin, Texas, I think of Springtime and bluebonnets. I remember driving through the region many times during the years I was assigned to the Air Force base in San Angelo, Texas, and wondering why the base couldn't be 90 miles east of where it was.

The region is beautiful and I always enjoyed the drive, except for one icy, winter day.

But that written, I never associated the Texas Hill Country with wine! Who knew? I didn't. Turns out, Texas is the fifth largest wine producing region in the United States! Wow! And then there comes along this cool contest, sponsored by Wine Enthusiast, to help people become familiar with Texas and Texas Hill Country wines. I am writing this article to hopefully win a trip to Texas as a wine destination! Who knew.

If I win the contest, I definitely want to experience all the various forms of Texas wines. I am familiar with many other U.S. wine regions--California, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, and New York--but I dearly want to add Texas to the list. Not only that, but if I could travel to the Texas wine country during the springtime, I could take a lot of pictures of the Texas State Flower.

With red wines rated in the low 90's and high 80's--there has to be some excellent drinking. You can review the Texas wine ratings for yourself, but wouldn't it be better to do them in person? I thin the Llano 1997 Signature Red, rated 91 for $9 looks especially enticing!

They do everything bigger in Texas, so they say. Maybe that applies to wines, too.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD