Staff Picks

Erich’s Wine Picks for the Holidays!

The Urban Grape | Erich Schliebe


The Urban Grape | Erich Schliebe

Staff blogs are back! In today’s, Erich shares the wines he’s most thankful for this holiday season. We at UG are very thankful for Erich and we know that a lot of our customers are too. He and his family are moving to Chapel Hill just before Christmas, so now is the time to get Erich’s advice on wine! 

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Staff Picks: Brendan O’Toole

The Urban Grape | Brendan O'Toole

The Urban Grape | Staff Picks | Brendan O'Toole

Check out these Staff Picks from Brendan O’Toole, our Urban Hops Manager.

Slumbrew Flagraiser IPA
A great beer with a great story. Named in honor of the first American flag, raised on Prospect Hill in Somerville, this IPA is delicious and endlessly drinkable. That it’s brewed a mile from my apartment doesn’t hurt either.
Lagavulin 16-Year Scotch Whisky
The perfect whisky. Distilled on the southern coast of Islay, a beautifully smooth pour of rich peat smoke. Not, certainly, a beginner’s Scotch, but a fine reward for the willing explorer.
Domaine Lou Frejau Chateauneuf-du-Pape
A deep dive into dark fruit and velvet body, this wine is the perfect accompaniment to a braised lamb shank or seared duck breast. It’s also the wine I drank on my 10th anniversary, so it’ll always be a fond memory.


Staff Picks: Gwen Koch

The Urban Grape | Gwen''s Staff Picks

The Urban Grape | Staff Picks: Gwen Koch

Check out these staff picks by Gwen Koch, our Urban Affairs Coordinator.

2013 La Spinetta Vermentino

This is one of my favorite wines to pair with seafood! Nuanced with clean citrus and a subtle spice character, it’s a go-to to share with a crowd.

2012 Beaucastel Coudoulet

Richness and acidity together are not easy to come by, but this wine showcases both beautifully. Structure and juicy fruit allow this wine to be a versatile food pairing during any season!


Staff Picks: Nathalie Nelles

The Urban Grape | Nathalie's Staff Picks

The Urban Grape | Staff Picks: Nathalie Nelles

Check out these staff picks by Nathalie Nelles

Francoise Chidaine – Montlouis Brut NV

Chenin Blanc and bubbles? Could anything be better? Super bright, racy acidity makes a great pair for richer-style vegetable dishes. Or, if you’re a lush like me, with buttermilk fried chicken and waffles.

Gobelsburger Kamptal Gruner Veltliner

Hailing from one of the oldest Gruner-producing houses in Austria, Gobelsburger perfectly captures the spirit of Gruner. Fresh, spunky, and an easy pair to a wide variety of foods, this wine simply rocks.

Givry 1er Cru

Everything you love about Burgundy Pinot Noirs at a bistro wine price. Vegetal and complex, with bright acidity and a silky finish, this is a great wine to enjoy with the people you love most.


Staff Picks: Erich Schliebe

The Urban Grape | Erich's Staff Picks

The Urban Grape | Staff Picks: Erich Schliebe

Check out these Staff Picks by Erich Schliebe.

2011 Belle Pente, “Belle Oiseau”, White Blend, Willamette Valley, Oregon

This Edelzwicker blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Muscat is a wonderful wine for a multitude of autumn cuisines: heavier fish dishes, squashes and root vegetables, traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It’s crisp acidity, lovely aromatics, and clean texture make this a wine you’ll enjoy even before dinner hits the table.

2010 Pont de Chevalier, Sauvignon Blanc, Knights Valley, California

Anyone who knows my tastes knows that I’m not the biggest fan of California wine, but I’ve loved this wine since its first vintage in 2006. This is great California fruit handled with a delicate French hand, resulting in a Sauvignon Blanc richer than Sancerre but without the sweet fruitiness of most California styles.

2012 Michel Niellon, Chassagne-Montrachet rouge, Burgundy, France

We don’t see a lot of red Chassagne-Montrachet in these parts, which is a shame, because the region stylistically produces a richer, lush style of Burgundy that appeals to a wide range of pinot drinkers. Superb producer, excellent area, fantastic wine…what’s more to say?


Staff Picks: Chelsea Bell

The Urban Grape | Chelsea's Staff Picks

The Urban Grape | Staff Picks: Chelsea Bell

Check out these picks by Chelsea Bell, our Urban Affairs Manager.

2013 Bedrock Heritage Vineyard

This red blend comes from Sonoma’s Bedrock Vineyard, one of the oldest California vineyards, which UCDavis is studying under The Zinfandel Heritage Vineyard Project. This project promotes Zinfandel as America’s Heritage wine since plantings go back to 1860. Bedrock Winery is run by Morgan Twain-Peterson, (son of Ravenswood Winery’s Joel Peterson) and Morgan’s best friend Chris Cotrell. This is some flavorful juice that comes from a field blend of Zinfandel and about 25 other grapes. This wine will seriously make you feel like you have struck gold!

Getting to stay at Alexana winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley was a personal highlight of my 2014! This 80-acre vineyard situated in Oregon’s Dundee Hills is picturesque and the staff could not be any more hospitable. Alexana Winery is owned by Dr. Revana, a practicing Houston-based cardiologist who’s passion for wine drove him to establish wineries in California, Oregon, and Argentina. Alexana is named after Dr. Revana’s daughter Alexandra and this wine is everything you desire in a pinot noir; softness, texture, and aromatics. Cheers to your heart health!


Staff Picks: Alex Ringenbach

The Urban Grape | Alex's Staff Picks

The Urban Grape | Staff Picks: Alex Ringenbach

Check out these picks by Alex Ringenbach, our the inventory and merchandising manager at The Urban Grape.

2014 Domaine Labbe “Abymes” Vin de Savoie, France.

100% Jacquere. Light and crisp with great acidity, this $14 French white is my go to after-work wine.

2013 Chateau Roc de Segur, Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France.

60% Merlot, 30% Cab Sauv, 10% Cab Franc. A French blend from Bordeaux, immensely drinkable, and affordable, at $12.

2012 L’Ameillaud Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, France.

50% Grenache 30% Carignan 20% Syrah. This $11 Vaucluse charmed me with the Big A on the label, and the juicy blend, with just the right amount of spice and pepper, keeps me charmed time and again


Staff Picks: Yoko Sawyer

The Urban Grape | Yoko's Staff Picks


NV Adriano Adami Prosecco Garbel

I used to be never crazy about Prosecco…until I met this one from Adami. As soon as you pop this bottle open, fresh pear and peach fruit along with crisp acidity jump out. High quality crowd-pleaser Adami Prosecco is perfect as an aperitif and for parties!

NV Domaine Tissot Cremant du Jura

From one of the top producers in France’s Jura region, this is a serious bubble with baked pear and apple fruit accompanied by hints of white truffle-like earthiness. This would be delicious with many of fall’s iconic dishes including the ones with mushroom.