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Robin Black
 
May 14, 2020 | Robin Black

Somm Thursday, Episode 5 - Norma and Sue Tipon discuss our 2019 Grenache Blanc

Norma sits down with owner and winemaker Sue Tipton to discuss our 2019 Grenache Blanc, one of our consistently most popular varieties. Follow along as they discuss this complex, beautiful wine and why it's such a food-friendly wine.

Do you have any questions for Norma? Send an email to somm@av-wine.com and let us know--we just might feature it on a future Somm Thursday!

Time Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:18 AM
Robin Black
 
May 7, 2020 | Robin Black

Somm Thursday, Episode 4 - a comparison of our 2018 and 2019 Viognier

Our estate-grown Viognier is consistently one of our most highly awarded wines, and today Norma compares the 2018 and 2019 vintages in a mini vertical tasting, and offers some great food pairing ideas as well.

Do you have any questions for Norma? Send an email to somm@av-wine.com and let us know--we just might feature it on a future Somm Thursday!

Time Posted: May 7, 2020 at 11:08 AM
Robin Black
 
April 30, 2020 | Robin Black

Our newly released 2019 Picpoul Blanc on Somm Thursday!

Our extremely popular "lip stinger"--our estate-grown Picpoul Blanc--is featured on today's Somm Thursday. Join Norma as she discusses the aromas and flavors of our 2019 Picpoul Blanc, and offers some great food pairing ideas including the scallop pancakes featured in the video. Find the recipe here.

Do you have any questions for Norma? Send an email to somm@av-wine.com and let us know--we just might feature it on a future Somm Thursday!

 

Time Posted: Apr 30, 2020 at 11:25 AM
Robin Black
 
April 23, 2020 | Robin Black

It's Somm Thursday! Featured today: our 2019 Grenache Rosé

We're back with the second installment of our new Somm Thursday, featuring our resident sommelier and wine educator Norma Poole!

Norma is exploring one of our favorites today, and the only pink wine in our lineup--our 2019 Grenache Rosé. Follow along as Norma discusses the aromas and flavors of this wine, and offers some great food pairing ideas.

Do you have any questions for Norma? Send an email to somm@av-wine.com and let us know--we just might feature it on a future Somm Thursday!

 

Time Posted: Apr 23, 2020 at 10:41 AM
Robin Black
 
April 2, 2020 | Robin Black

Introducing Somm Thursdays at Acquiesce!

Our resident sommelier and wine educator Norma Poole is normally on hand for all of your wine and wine pairing suggestions in the tasting room every Thursday, but while we all #StayHome we thought we'd start up some virtual tastings to share with you here (and we're having so much fun with them, they'll be a regular feature).

For today's virtual tasting, she's chatting about our gold medal winners Belle Blanc and Clairette Blanche, and some possible Easter dinner (and Easter dinner leftovers) pairings.

Do you have any questions for Norma? Send an email to somm@av-wine.com and let us know--we just might feature it on a future Somm Thursday!

 

Time Posted: Apr 2, 2020 at 12:41 PM
Robin Black
 
March 26, 2020 | Robin Black

Walking the Walk: Sustainability Changes at Acquiesce!

If you’ve already received your spring release you may have noticed the new addition to the Acquiesce family: our custom bottle with Lady Acquiesce embossed on the bottom!Lady Acquiesce Embossed on Bottom of New Bottles

After more than a year of research, design and planning, we are excited to show off our new proprietary bottles. This slightly sleeker, significantly lighter glass bottle is a custom design imported from Italy. We will save an estimated 12,600 pounds per year in glass with this lighter bottle—that’s an average of about three pounds per case, or four ounces per bottle! And yes, it holds the same 750ml of wine, as always. You will also notice when you receive your spring selection that we are no longer using Styrofoam, which cannot be recycled. All packing we use is now made from recyclable paper and pulp.

This will significantly lighten our carbon footprint on shipping while still maintaining the beautiful, iconic curved bottles we’ve all come to love as emblematic of Acquiesce’s premium Rhône-style white wines. And instead of the punt—that depression on the bottom of the bottle—we now show off our Lady Acquiesce. In this side-by-side picture, our 2018 Belle BlaPhoto of old and new Acquiesce bottlesnc is on the left and our 2019 Belle Blanc in the newly designed bottle is on the right.

Those of you who’ve told us our voluptuous bottles can be a tricky fit in a wine rack will really love the new design, which should fit into standard racks with no problems. It’s also a little easier to grip the new streamlined bottle for pouring, so it’s an improvement on all levels.

Better in your hand, better in your wine rack, and better for the environment.

Compare it to its predecessor and see if you can tell how that reduction was achieved!

Stay tuned for more sustainability updates from Acquiesce—we think you’ll love the changes we’re making that are better for you, and better for the planet!

Time Posted: Mar 26, 2020 at 4:29 PM
Robin Black
 
February 10, 2020 | Robin Black

Taking Home the Gold at the American Fine Wine Competition!

Our wines continue to collect accolades, and we’re delighted to get 2020 off to a great start by picking up several medals at the prestigious American Fine Wine Competition (AFWC).

Our Viognier, which picked up a gold medal at last month’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, was awarded Best of Class at the AFWC!

This particular competition began in 2007 and has quickly become one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the U.S, with fewer than 1,000 wines invited to participate.

Here’s more on this invitation-only competition:

“The American Fine Wine Competition is exclusive and by ‘invitation only.’ Only wines tasted and considered "world-class" are invited by an AFWC judge or one of our Wine Acquisition Team members. Our mission is to seek out those wines that are the best of the best.”

In addition to our Viognier’s Best of Class recognition, these are the other Acquiesce winners, by category:

  • Belle Blanc – Other White Blend – Gold Medal
  • Ingénue – Other White Blend – Silver Medal
  • Sparkling Grenache Blanc – Sparkling – Silver Medal

We think our premium Rhȏne-style wines are truly world-class, and it’s always an honor when other wine professionals agree!

 

Time Posted: Feb 10, 2020 at 9:46 AM
Robin Black
 
January 4, 2020 | Robin Black

The Ageability of White Wines

When we think about aging wines and holding some of our better bottles aside, most of us probably think only in the realm of red wines. But did you know some white wines age beautifully, too? They do!

Acquiesce White Wines on a TableWe humans have known for a long time—as far back as ancient Greece and Rome—that wine can improve with age. It’s even mentioned in the Book of Luke in the New Testament that old wines are valued over new wines. But over the millennia, we’ve refined our knowledge to knowing not *all* wines age well. Some, say a Beaujolais Nouveau, are best consumed very young. But well-crafted wines—yes, even white wines!—with good acidity and medium to full body can change and improve over the years they spend in the bottle.

Let’s talk about esters.

“Esters are the aromatic, fruity compounds in wine, formed during fermentation, malolactic fermentation (MLF) and ageing. There are many factors that influence the types and quantities of esters present and although all of them are not positive contributors, as a group, they are a major constituent of wine.” (WineLand Media-will include hyperlink in blog)

Esters vary from fruit to fruit—a green apple, for example, is loaded with naturally occurring or endemic esters. But wine grapes have far fewer natural esters. So where do all those complex wine aromas come from? WineLand explains:

“Research has identified 11 different esters in grape juice, but wine can have up to 83; this affects the wine’s flavour and complexity in proportion to their presence. Esters are formed when an acid reacts with alcohol, eliminating a water molecule in the process.”

Acquiesce’s wines never go through MLF, so the esters in our wines happen via fermentation, and (if you have the willpower to cellar them for a few years) AGING!

You Say You Want an Evolution?

And this is where wine gets VERY interesting. While a young bottle of white wine, say our 2018 Viognier, has very up-front fruit flavors and aromas, its sibling that’s a few years older will have grown up. Instead of the intense leading notes and flavors of fruit, you may find those aromas and flavors more complex and layered. The strong fruity esters of youth may give way to esters that hint at honeycomb or a subtle almond flavor. Compare the tasting notes of our 2018 Viognier with its 2015 sibling, which we recently poured for guests at our Acquiesce En Blanc dinner:

“Fields” of lavender, ultra-intense and fragrant, with faint suggestions of peach and exotic/spiced flower notes; firm, medium full body, yet light and airy in the feel.  Reminiscent of honeyed tangerine and peach, this wine is crisp and dry, yet round on the palate. Aroma of violets, followed by a long, dry finish.”  -2018 Acquiesce Viognier

And after a few years of bottling aging?

“Aromatic suggestions of slate, minerality, stone fruit and dried tea rose petals enhance the delicate mid-palate of Chinese herbs, fennel, and lemongrass, creating a lingering finish.”  -2015 Acquiesce Viognier

Granted, these are different wines of different vintages, so the flavor and aroma makeup of the wine can and will vary somewhat from year to year. But our style and approach at Acquiesce has been consistent from the beginning, so while the wines may differ a bit with each vintage, they are still reliably similar. Those extra years in the bottle, however, create greater layers in complexity with the aromas and flavor profile, introducing new tertiary flavors that come on with age (the minerality, the herbiness, the more subtle fruit).

What to Expect With an Aged White Wine.

The first thing you’ll probably notice from a white wine with some bottle age is a change in color. The pale, bright straw color of the new white wine will grow into a slightly deeper gold color. The aromas may change slightly, and there may even be off-aromas initially; don’t be surprised by this, but also don’t let it concern you too much. This is where decanting comes in. Yes, you should consider decanting older white wines, just as you would with a red wine! Those types of aromas should “blow off” (or mostly evaporate) once it’s had a chance to open up a bit. Think of the wine as stretching its legs after being in a cramped position for a long time.

Then comes the fun part; once decanted, you get to discover how that fruity youngster has developed. Where there was bright tangerine before, you may detect hints of honeycomb or candied citron. Where the acids practically danced in the glass in a newly made wine, you may find the acid making its presence known in more subtle ways, along with hints of wet slate or a slight brininess. Take your time with these wines and let them reveal themselves as you sip and savor.

Our first commercial vintage was 2011, so we are only just now able to explore bottle age in Acquiesce wines ourselves, and we’re loving what we’re tasting so far. We are confident that with proper storage (keep away from light and heat), our wines will continue to age beautifully in bottle up to 10 years (and perhaps beyond!).

As difficult as it may be to hold back a few bottles of our bright, lovely wines for aging, we think you’ll love the result as much as we do.

Time Posted: Jan 4, 2020 at 10:45 AM
Robin Black
 
December 4, 2019 | Robin Black

Meet Acquiesce's very own sommelier, Norma Poole!

Did you know we have a professional sommelier/wine educator on staff here at Acquiesce? Meet the next team member in our series of staff profiles, Norma Poole!

Norma Poole, SommelierPoole is one of the more recent additions to our staff, joining us in March of this past year.

“A first time wine tasting trip to Lodi led me to Acquiesce as a recommendation from my first stop which was another winery in Lodi. That was a life changing visit in more ways than one!”

Before joining Acquiesce earlier this year, Poole lived in nearby Napa Valley for 17 years where she made her career in the wine industry there. 

“Ten of those years was spent teaching at the Napa Valley College, instructing wine tasting classes which included Sensory Evaluation of Wine, Wines of the World, Wines of California and Food and Wine Pairing. I worked at Cakebread Cellars, Cardinale/Lokoya and Cuvaison as a tasting room manager and sales over the course of those years.” 

So just how did she end up in the wine industry in the first place?

“Just about 30 years ago I read a book called A Year in Provence on a plane from my hometown in upstate New York, to my new place of residence in California. The book, by Peter Mayle, was written with such humor and enthusiasm about the French love affair with food and wine, that it hooked me completely! I wanted to immerse myself into the food and wine culture! I became a serious follower of Julia Child and Alice Waters, avidly reading the weekly food and wine columns in the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, scrapbooking recipes, which I still have and frequently refer to. At the same time, I began visiting wineries in Amador, Sonoma and Napa, tasting, examining and learning about how wine was made. My dear friends from New York moved to Sacramento and we made wine out of their garage, and then spent our time trying out new recipes and pairing with wines we had either made or purchased from local wineries.”

Norma notes that the turning point in her career, which at the time was in sales, occurred after meeting her husband at a restaurant in Sacramento known for their excellent gourmet French-inspired food and French wine list.

“I wanted to learn as much as I could about great food and wine pairings! Shortly after, we decided to move to the Napa Valley, where he began working as a captain and sommelier at the French Laundry and I became a student of wine, taking the exams for the advanced level of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and studying at Napa Valley College in the Viticulture and Winery Technology School where I became an instructor for over 10 years. In the meantime, I had passed the Certificate Level for the Master Sommelier, studying under the direction of great Master Sommeliers and falling in love with French wine! Hence, my food and wine journey has ultimately and happily led me to Acquiesce, where I can fulfill my life’s love and dream, sharing the greatest hand crafted white Rhȏne wines, with which we serve our guests exquisite little food pairings.”

Poole moved to Lodi with her husband earlier this year.  “We love the sense of community and the farming lifestyle. And I suppose I should mention, most importantly, that Acquiesce brought us here!”

And which Acquiesce wine is Norma’s favorite?

“Every single wine that Sue Tipton crafts is ultimately exquisite! My current love is Ingénue, a brilliant blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc, and Picpoul Blanc, showing multiple delicate layers of stone fruits, Asian spices and nuances of Amaretto liquor.”

So what are the benefits of having a sommelier on staff at Acquiesce? Not only can Poole tailor and guide a tasting for your group, she’s also a gold mine of wine knowledge and is happy to share that to improve your experience in the tasting room.

“Over the years teaching classes on how to pair food and wine, I have found that there is a great deal of anxiety and frustration associated with choosing the right wines to serve with food, especially during the holidays. Food and wine pairing is an examination of the individual components of the food as well as the wine of which I can assist our customers at Acquiesce with. I can help them learn the meaning of cause and effect of the acid, tannin, alcohol, sugar and salt in foods that can affect the overall wine that they choose. Our customers are welcome to bring their menus to the tasting room where I can sit with them and go over each item. I can then make suggestions as to which Acquiesce wine to serve with each course. I recommend an appointment to ensure the quality time that I can spend with our customers at Acquiesce, working the appointments into my regular schedule at the Acquiesce tasting room, if necessary.”

Poole believes there’s something special happening here at Acquiesce, and loves being a part of it.

“There is not enough space in this article to write all the reasons I like working at Acquiesce! To top the list: the privilege of representing the most exciting white wines on a daily basis and working for Sue Tipton. I have a deep admiration for her pioneering spirit, hard work and unfailing dedication to truly fulfill her promise to make world-class wines. Sue Tipton has created a wine tasting experience, by virtue of making unequaled white Rhȏne-style wines, that naturally makes for an amazing experience above and beyond anything that people normally get wine tasting anywhere.”

We couldn’t agree more, and think Norma is an important part of that experience. Say “hi” to her next time you stop by the tasting room, and don’t be shy about asking for her assistance and expertise!

 

 

Time Posted: Dec 4, 2019 at 10:33 AM
Robin Black
 
November 9, 2019 | Robin Black

Meet Deanie Bridewell, Our Tasting Room and Wine Club Manager

Welcome to the first in a series of staff profiles for our team at Acquiesce! We couldn’t do what we do without them, and thought it would be fun for you to get to know them, too.

Deanie Bridewell, right, pours wine for a group of sommeliers we recently hosted.If you’ve been in the Acquiesce tasting room, and especially if you’re one of our wine club members, you’ve most likely met or spoken with our tasting room and wine club manager, Deanie Bridewell. Her gracious and gentle demeanor sets the tone in the tasting room, and she keeps things running smoothly on all fronts.

Deanie previously worked at the City of Lodi’s Hutchins Street Station, where she was the Manager and Event Coordinator.

***

What brought you to Acquiesce?

I met Sue (Tipton) while I was the Event Coordinator and Manager of Hutchins Street Square.  My emphasis was supporting the Arts.  We met planning the Artisan Masters, a fundraising collaboration between the Lodi Arts Commission, the Lodi Arts Foundation and local wineries.

What was your background prior to coming to Acquiesce?

I started working for HSS in 2004. During that time, I attended Sacramento State and received a Certificate in Event Planning. Lodi art events provided opportunities for me to meet local wine makers who were always generous in their support and donation of wine when asked to help.  Although I worked with many winemakers, my knowledge of Lodi wines was limited.

How long have you been in the Lodi area, and what do you like about it?

I moved to Lodi from Sonoma County in 2004.  Lodi offers a small town feel while providing great wine tasting, art events and recreational opportunities.

What’s your (current) favorite wine in the Acquiesce lineup?

Right now I’m loving the Grenache Blanc. The Grenache Rosé is always a consistent favorite. Having Belle Blanc back on the menu is a treat, and I’m waiting for a special moment to open my 2014 Roussanne. I can’t wait to try that!

What do you like about working at Acquiesce?

I feel blessed to work with Sue. I respect her philosophy and spirit to produce world class wines. I enjoy the delight customers find in her white wines, especially the staunch red wine only lover, once they take the chance. And I love working with the Acquiesce staff.  They are the best and truly committed to their passion and support of Acquiesce and providing the very best experience for our guests.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

When not working, I love traveling—whether it is a trip to the ocean or abroad. This summer I had the opportunity to meet Sue and Rodney in Uzes, France. It turned out that in our small cooking class we were surprised by having two Acquiesce wine club members show up who were also enjoying a holiday. I also am Noni to five wonderful grandchildren who I can never get enough of.

***

Deanie provides such a positive guiding presence at Acquiesce. Sue Tipton notes “Deanie is the ultimate customer service professional; nothing makes her happier than greeting our guests or getting to know a new wine club member. She’s interested in pleasing our customers and being a mentor to our tasting room staff.”

Be sure to say “hi!” to Deanie next time you stop by!

Time Posted: Nov 9, 2019 at 3:09 PM