Category Archives: Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar Blog

New! 2014 October Issue of Wine Spectator



In the Oct 31, 2014 Issue:

Information from


Sicily, Italy’s largest and most southerly island, is a place of many distinctions. Its wines, climate and geography, its people and more. Yet these diverse strands weave an alluring tapestry, and help make Sicily one of Italy’s most exciting wine regions today.

FREE Wine Charts:

Sicily: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Sicilian wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Tuscany: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Tuscan wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Loire Valley: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Loire Valley wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Cover Story

Sicily’s Wine Renaissance – A combination of local culture and modern innovation is transforming the Medi­terranean’s largest island into a winemaking hot spot. From Mount Etna’s elegant reds based on the native Nerello Mascalese grape to crowd-pleasing Chardonnays, diversity and quality abound

FREE: Sicily Alphabetical Listing – More than 330 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

ABCs of Sicilian Terroir

Recommended Sicilian Wines – 80 wines that deliver the flavors of Sicily

Profiles of Leading Producers – Wineries both large and small are defining the taste of Sicily and setting new standards for quality across the island BONUS VIDEO Sicily’s Local Reds: Get the inside scoop on this Italian island’s indigenous varieties as senior editor Alison Napjus tastes wines made from Nero d’Avola and Frappato with Francesca Planeta.


    Tasting Reports

Tuscan Triumphs – Trailblazing super Tuscans and traditional Sangiovese lead the way

FREE: Tuscany Alphabetical Listing – More than 800 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.

Challenges in the Loire – Unfavorable weather in 2012 leads to a mixed bag of quality

FREE: Loire Valley Alphabetical Listing – More than 600 wines were reviewed for this report. Afree alphabetical list is available. members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings Search.


Masters of the Mosel – Brothers Thomas and Oliver Haag craft distinctive German Rieslings at their neighboring estates

Loyal to Lirac – Château de Montfaucon’s Rodolphe de Pins sheds light on an unsung corner of the Southern Rhône


Italy’s Green Heart – Long overlooked, Umbria is gaining recognition with characterful reds and whites Letter from Europe: Contributing editor Robert Camuto blogs from his trips through France, Italy and beyond, sharing the fascinating and inspiring stories of the winemakers, grapegrowers, chefs and other personalities who shape wine culture.



Earthquake Rumbles Napa Valley – With harvest just days away, vintners assessed damage and began cleaning up

Finger Lakes Vintners Protest Gas Storage Plan

Peter Michael Named Distinguished Service Award Winner

Wine Ad Battle Back in Court Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.


In Memoriam – Baroness Philippine de Rothschild

Sicilian Chef Pino Cuttaia – Pino Cuttaia cooks his way to the top of Italian gastronomy by sticking to his roots


What to Ask Your Cheesemonger Members can reference our full archives of columns and other articles on cheese.


Kentucky Bourbon Country

    Things We Like

Unique Cuisine in San Francisco

Music for Wine Lovers

A Comprehensive Guide to Italian Grapes


Super Tuscan Flaccianello – The super Tuscan evolves over 26 vintages


    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue – Marvin R. Shanken



    Savvy Shopper

Italian Reds, West Coast Whites and Red Burgundy


James Laube – Screaming Eagle and Two-Buck Chuck In his blogs, James Laube shares updates from his recent tastings and visits with winemakers, and discusses hot-button issues in the wine industry. Join the conversation with other members.

Matt Kramer – Cynics of site specificity For more of Matt Kramer’s provocative essays and lively online discussions. (Only members may post comments but all visitors may read them.)

    A Perfect Match

Mimmo Ferraro’s Veal Scaloppine, Fried Egg and Fresh Truffles with Barbaresco – Chef Mimmo Ferraro, Ferraro’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, Las Vegas Find hundreds more wine-friendly recipes, with suggested wine matches, in our online Recipe Search.

October is Virginia Wine Month


MBWC Homepage VA Wine Month Oct 2014

We hope to add even more wine tastings with Virginia Wineries to our tasting schedule in October, but you can go ahead and count on these!



Fincastle Vineyard & Winery

Nestled in the Great Valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Fincastle Vineyard & Winery produces wines using traditional Bordeaux small scale techniques. From the vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay come wines pressed gently and aged in oak. After 10 years in the planning, David, Georgia, and their son, Richard opened Botetourt County’s first farm winery in 2003 with a special emphasis on quality and not quantity. According to the Virginia Wine Guide “Fincastle’s 2001 reds are beautifully handcrafted blockbuster wines, dark, lush and intensely flavored.”

Built into the hillside by our farmhouse, the winery is a gravity-fed operation, thus insuring the completely natural handling of the wine. The unique construction of the winery utilizes top-level in-ground primary fermentation storage, below which are three levels of barrel storage, providing for the downward flow of wine during racking.

The vineyard can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 100. A simple desire to “do something with the land” has blossomed into a thriving vineyard where once there were only cows and hay.

AmRhein’s Wine Cellars

All 2014 Wines are ESTATE-GROWN!! AmRhein’s Wine Cellars is a multi-award winning winery with a multitude of White and Red grape varietals produced!

CrossKeys Vineyards

CrossKeys Vineyards is a beautiful 125 acre Estate situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Here we produce a wide array of award winning, estate, grown, produced, and bottled wines. Surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, CrossKeys Vineyards is the perfect setting for a relaxing day trip, romantic dinner, grand wedding, and everything in between.


Vinho Verde on SALE through Labor Day!

Vinho Verde is a grape varietal, grown in the “Vinho Verde” region of Portugal. Other wines can come from this region in Portugal, such as Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional and even wonderful blended Roses. But most commonly, this region is known for their production of Vinho Verde, white wine. Vinho Verdes are known for having lower alcohol by volume (8-9% ABV), making them easier to drink in the Summer Heat. Vinho Verdes are also known for having a slight bit of effervescence and vibrant acidity. Maybe not technically speaking, but for Americans, Labor Day is the perfect time to enjoy Vinho Verde!


Conveniently, On Sale Now

for your enjoyment! 

Save $1.00 off all Vinho Verde through Labor Day (or while supplies last).

Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar will be OPEN LABOR DAY 11am-3pm

2014 Pumpkin and Oktoberfest Beer has Arrived!

For some people, this is a long-awaited season in the craft beer world. And its finally hit for 2014! We have new Pumpkin Ales and Oktoberfests arriving each week. We’ve ordered in the traditional favorites like Virginia’s Alewerks Pumpkin and Blue Mountain Spooky, Regional beers like Heavy Seas oak-aged Pumpkin ales from Maryland, Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale from Missouri and Bell’s Octoberfest from Michigan, and Southern Tier’s Pumking and Brooklyn’s Oktoberfest out of New York. We will also research new beers popping up for the first time this year and order those in too! Its hard to know what will arrive and when, so feel free to email us or call (we’re faster on those than Facebook) and we’re happy to answer any questions we can for you.



Bell’s Octoberfest

bells octoberfest mr bills wine cellar

Crafted as a flavorful session beer, Bell’s Octoberfest Beer is perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn. As with Bell’s Lager Beer, Octoberfest spends a full six weeks maturing in the fermentation vessels. Unlike its cousin, Octoberfest trades in the assertive hop presence for a focus on a light caramel malt note, lending body without too much sweetness.

Alcohol by Volume:  5.5%
Original Gravity:  1.056
Shelf Life:  6 months
Dates Available:  Late summer seasonal



Alewerks Pumpkin Ale

alewerks pumpkin ale mr bills wine cellar


Spiced Ale

This amber colored ale is loaded with Pumpkin pie aroma and flavor. It actually does taste like Pumpkin pie! At 7.3% ABV, it will keep you warm on a cool

Autumn eve.

Pale, Crystal, Munich and Biscuit malts. American Fuggle hops. Pumpkin, spice, brown sugar.



A quick touch on Ales vs. Lagers

Technically Speaking….

  • Ales- the yeast ferments at the top, so ales are referred to as “top fermenting.” Ales also ferment at warmer temperatures.
  • Lagers- the yeast ferments at the bottom, so lagers are referred to as “bottom fermenting” and have less yeast derived flavors. Lagers typically have a more clear expression of the grain and hops.




beer mbwc






 Questions? Email: or Call: (540)400-7771


Wine and Chocolate Pairing | August 15. 2014

MBWC Homepage2

Puppie McCloskey, of International Wine Cellars

will pour wine samples and pair with Baylee’s Best Chocolates!


The Wine Lineup-

  • Serrus Viura – A dry white wine from Spain. Has the oomph to stand up the chocolate and make your taste buds happy! 
  • Albardiales Tempranillo – from La Mancha. Fresh, intense blackberry flavor just waiting to grab a chocolate accompaniment. 
  • Pocas Tawny Port- Its simply a classic port-chocolate match up you must try!


baylees choc valentines




About Baylee’s Best Chocolates

Baylee’s is Roanoke’s own Chocolatier! We make our chocolates, confections and custom molded bars right here in our shop at West Village of Roanoke, Virginia. To make our confections, along with the finest European chocolate, I use real fruit, fresh figs and nuts, quality flavorings and the best vanilla and cream. The result is chocolates with thin shells and creamy fillings. You can taste the difference!