Archive for November, 2014

Podcast #4- Twelfth Night Wine and Dark Beers

A review of 7 dark beers to enjoy and a review of Twelfth Night Pinot Noir and Riesling from Vela Wines in New Zealand.
Beers from Terrapin, Founders Brewery, Sam Smith,  Boulder Beer Co, Finch’s Beer,  The St. Louis Beer Company.

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Dark Beers and Twelfth Night Wines

Yes I know it’s been too long , and I am working on it.  I am not going to make excuses. However let’s just say my full time job has had me working a few extra hours the last 6 weeks. With that behind me my goal is to still get a new post out to you every 2 weeks for now, and eventually get it to weekly in about 6 months times.

Today we are going to discuss two different topics. The first topic is seven dark beers; all of them are extremely good and worth looking for.  Then we are going to discuss a beautiful set of wines I just discovered out of New Zealand.

Over the past several weeks I have had the fun time of tasting a number of dark beers. I really love dark beer. So whenever I can taste a new stout or other dark beer, I jump at the chance. To me they have more character than a lot of other beers and are my favorite styles of beers.

The first beer is Liquid Bliss, a Dark American Porter made by Terrapin Beer Company out of Athens Georgia.  Terrapin is a micro-brewery that’s only been around since 2002 and is producing some excellent beers available primarily in the South Eastern United States.  The Liquid Bliss has loads of chocolate and peanut butter, almost like tasting a Reese’s Pieces.  This is a must try for those who like heavier beers.

The second beer today is well worth searching out for. Breakfast Stout made by Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids Michigan. This is my first beer from Founders Brewing and I am hoping for more in the future.  The Breakfast Stout is extremely smooth, slightly nutty with maple and coffee flavors.

The third beer is out of North Yorkshire England, the Samuel Smith Old Brewery.  This is a very well-known brewery that has been around since 1758. Their Oatmeal Stout has traditional Chocolate flavors, with a touch of maple and caramel. A very well balanced beer that might get over looked since it is easier to locate on the shelves.

Beer Number four comes from my hometown of Franklin Tennessee by a small family owned microbrewery called Turtle Anarchy. The Portly Stout is robust with traditional Coffee and Chocolate flavors. Extremely drinkable. If you’re in the Middle Tennessee area or driving through its well worth checking out Turtle Anarchy and the Portly Stout.

Beer Number Five comes from The Saint Louis Brewery in St Louis Missouri and it’s their Coffee Stout. This was the lightest of the stouts we are looking at, but extremely enjoyable. Nice coffee overtones, in fact these folks use French Roasted beans from a local St Louis coffee roaster. It’s the full St. Louis experience.

Beer Number Six was something different, from Boulder Beer Company in Boulder Colorado its the Shake Chocolate Porter. Now if you’re a fan of Chocolate Milk Shakes and Beer, this is the beer for you. Totally different flavor and well worth trying for you chocolate shake fans.

Finally from Finch’s Beer Company in Chicago Illinois comes Secret Stache Stout.  Great flavor on this intensely dark stout. Very tradionional flavors and extremely drinkable. Extremely glad I found this beer.

So what happens when you get  two men one from France and the other from Russia, and an American woman, all who are scientists? No not a new episode of Big Bang Theory; but 3 people who have a love of wine and adventure. Vela Wines was founded by Arié Dahan, Beth Ann Dahan and Max Risman, all who are based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. After becoming captivated with the country and people of New Zealand, the three decided it was the perfect location for them to produce fine wine. Vela currently owns vineyard land in Central Otago and is producing Pinot Noir and Riesling and plans to expand production to other varietals in the future. Most of the wine is currently being exported to the USA under the label Twelfth Night.

So again if you’re looking for Vela Wines in the United States it’s under the label of Twelfth Night.

12 Night SBLet’s start with the 2013 Twelfth Night Riesling. This wine has amazing flavors that burst out at you. Beautiful flavors of pear and orange. This is by no means a light Riesling. This is a full body Riesling that can be drunk in place of many lighter Chardonnays. Extremely enjoyable! Suggested retail on this wine is $18.00

BLEND: 100% Riesling
APPELLATION: Central Otago, New Zealand
WINE ALCOHOL: 12.5 % by volume
WINE ACID: 9.0 g/L
WINE PH: 2.98

12 Night PNThe 2012 Twelfth Night Pinot Noir is lighter in color but not light in flavor. Lots of black cherry, hints of raspberry and a slight touch of cloves. This wine aged for nine months in French oak barrels. This wine will go well with many dishes. This is what I would refer to as a very elegant wine. Well worth trying out and a great buy at $22.00

BLEND: 100% Pinot Noir
APPELLATION: Central Otago, New Zealand
WINE ALCOHOL: 14.3% by volume
WINE ACID: 6.0 g/L
WINE PH: 3.62

These wines are going to be very hard to find in the retail shop as they are only available in Massachusetts and New Hampshire at this time. However you can also contact the winery at

If you have a negative comment or a suggestion, please email directly at and perhaps it is something we can look at.

You can also follow on Twitter @tastingradio. Additionally you can follow me on the Untappd beer app and Delectable wine app both for Iphone.


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