Category Archives: Wine

Wine and Chocolate Pairing | August 15. 2014

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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!


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Meet The Winemaker: Michael Shaps

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Michael has been making wine in central Virginia since 1995.  He previously worked with two highly regarded central Virginia wineries – Jefferson Vineyards, and King Family Vineyards.  He currently works as a consultant to wineries in several states and has been involved in the startup of more  than ten wineries.  He was the winner of the Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition in 2004 and has been mentioned in numerous wine publications such as Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian, and The Washington Post.  Michael is also a partner in Maison Shaps & Roucher-Sarrazin in Meursault, France. Michael oversees all Virginia Wineworks operations and works with partner Philip Stafford on strategic planning for the winery. He holds a BPA (Brevet Professionnel Agricole) in Enology and Viticulture from Lycée Viticole de Beaune, France.  In addition, he has a B.S. in Business  Administration with a  concentration in Marketing from Skidmore College.


Michael Shaps wines are produced in small lots from leased vineyards that are grown under the supervision of Michael Shaps and Philip Stafford. Michael has established a reputation for high quality that ranks on an 
international scale with some of the best wines in the world.  For the past ten vintages Michael has created wines with careful attention to the details of fine wine production.  The wines are produced in a traditional old-world style.  The whites focus on varietal intensity and the retention of natural acidity.  The reds are highly extracted and crafted to be age worthy and require cellaring.
 Michael strongly believes in choosing grape varieties that represent the potential of Virginia viticulture.  Michael’s wines prove that Virginia can produce wines that compete head to head with some of the finest wines from the best regions in the wine world.
In addition to wining the prestigious Governor’s Cup wine competition, Michael Shaps wines have earned gold medals in several competitions and have been written up in publications such as Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian, The Washington Post and many others.


Virginia Wineworks wines have been created to meet the need for value-oriented wines.  We realized the most ideal and cost effective packaging are the bag in boxes.  These  have long been used in Italy and France with great success.  We are the first Virginia Winery to produce These wines are made from 100% Virginia grapes.  We work with quality grape growers throughout the state to find the best possible fruit to make fun, approachable wines.  We work to create wines that maintain high standards of quality at reasonable prices.

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Please join us on Friday, April 18 (5-7p) for a special tasting and

Meet The Winemaker with Michael Shaps!

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A little for the Sauce, A little for the Chef

Over the years, Mr. Bill has worked hard to educate people about the wine industry. Here’s an article written by Bill himself that we hope will enlighten you about cooking with wine.

A little for the Sauce, A little for the Chef

With over 37 years of experience in the Wine Industry, Mr. Bill specializes in wine sales, customer service, wine education, training, and event planning.


We know we should drink a little wine, but what about cooking with it? Grab a glass of fine Virginia wine while we discuss wine in the kitchen.

The first rule is to not use the stuff labeled “cooking wine”, which you will find in many stores. It’s terrible plunk and has salt added to it. Add your own salt, if any, to the recipe. The next rule is to use a wine that you would also drink. Two things happen with really cheap wine. Any off flavors in the wine will likely magnify as it reduces. Also, cheaper wines are usually thinner in flavor taking more wine to reach the richness you might desire. Using a really great or expensive bottle of wine is overkill and a waste.

There are several reasons for cooking with wine. Perhaps the most popular use is to deglaze a pan, and wine is wonderful for this. It adds so much more flavor than water would. Use a wine that matches the dish. Dark, rich sauces would call for a red wine. A lighter sauce would likely need a white wine. Think it out a step further. Does the sauce have some berry fruit in it? Perhaps a Zinfandel would help accentuate those flavors. Sauvignon Blanc for a herb based sauce. Chardonnay would work well in a butter sauce.

Don’t forget the fortified wines, such as Port, Sherry, and Vermouth. They are rather intense in flavor, and are usually added towards the end of cooking so there is less reduction and intensifying, which could make them too strong.

You have probably heard that the alcohol cooks off. Some does, but it does not necessarily all disappear. It depends on how long the wine is cooked. Still, in most recipes there would not be a major amount that you would need to worry about.

I need to mention box wine. If you cook with wine a lot, you may want to keep a box of better quality wine in the kitchen. Since the box keeps air from the wine it will last longer. Usually the 3 liter boxes are of better quality, while the 5 liter boxes are less desirable. However, the best wine to cook with is also the best to drink; Virginia wine, don’t ya know. What time is dinner?


Mr. Bill

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Corkcicles for Whites and Reds!

Corkcicles are Spring’s Best Friend
(And one of Oprah’s 2012 Must-Haves!)

Perfectly Chilled Wines Every time
It keeps your chilled whites at perfect drinking temperatures. It keeps your lighter chilled reds at perfect drinking temperatures. And it even brings those heavier room temperature reds down to more suitable drinking temperatures.

How does it work?
1. After freezing your Corkcicle… for whites, pour the first chilled glass. For reds, pour out a “taste” to make room for Corkcicle.

2. Insert into your bottle to cool room temperature reds in 15 min or keep whites perfectly chilled for an hour.

3. To refill glasses simply pull Corkcicle out 75% from the bottle. Tilt the bottle over the glass to fill.

Information provided from

Stop in Today to get the LOWEST PRICE in town at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar!

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Vinos de Arganza, Flavium 100% Mencia!

Flavium, 100% Mencia

90pts, Robert Parker!

Mencia may not be a grape you’ve heard about before, but we wanted to share this wine with you in hopes to expand your preference of Grape Varietals when looking for wine on a weekly (or daily) basis!

Mencia is a common grape grown in Northwest Spain. This particular wine comes from the northwest region of Spain, Bierzo. Although this grape used to be thought of as a cousin of Cabernet Franc, recent DNA testing has shown that this may not be true. And in flavor, this grape has really grown from what used to be a lighter bodied, simpler wine has now become a big red with bright color and complex flavors!

Our Tasting Notes:

Flavium Mencia has an absolutely beautiful Fuchsia red color!

The aroma holds chocolate, some dark cherry and even a hint of leather.

The wine is a nice rich and complex red! Dark fruit flavors with fresh acidity and tannins.

Great flavor and sophistication!

Food Pairing:

This wine could go great with slow roasted pork, grilled duck or many other foods!

Enjoy one tonight!


Mr. Bill

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