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Amy C. Collins
Interests: reading, writing, essays, fiction, wine, food, cartoons, design, color, drawing, painting, cooking, eating, gardening, observing, talking.
Recent Activity
Wine: Mouton Noir Horseshoes and Handgrenades Vintage: NV Country: USA Region: South Oregon + Red Mountain, Washington Grapes: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Production: Small I met Andre Mack, aka Mouton Noir, in 2003-04 when he was head sommelier at Thomas Keller's Per Se in New York. He'd been a prominent fixture in Napa at Keller's flagship The French Laundry and,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pig&Vine
Wine: Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé Vintage: 2014 Country: France Region: Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle (aka Vermentino) Vines: Organic Style: Still rosé Production: Unknown The appellation of Provence in the south of France is known as quintessential rosé land. The pink wines make up an estimated 75% of total wine production, with red... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Wine: Le Vigne di Zamo´Bianco IGT Vintage: 2014 Country: Italy Region: Veneto Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano, Riesling Vines: Unknown Style: Still white Production: Unknown The Zamo´winery has been family run since the 1980s, though some of the vineyard land dates back to the early 1920s. They're situated in the Veneto, often more broadly referred to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Wine: Albert Boxler Edelzwicker Réserve Vintage: 2010 Country: France Region: Alsace Grapes: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, Riesling, Gewurztraminer Vines: Organic Style: Still white Production: Small Albert Boxler is one of the oldest and greatest estates in Alsace, France and honestly, the wine growing world. The vineyards were established in 1673, and in 1946, Albert Boxler returned home to post... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Beer: Blackberry Farm Country: USA Region: Walland, Tennessee Hops et al: Organic/sustainable Style: Saison Production: Small-medium I rarely cover beer on Pig&Vine, but this is not your typical brew. The Blackberry Farm Brewery Summer & Classic Saisons embody the complexity, balance and nuance more often associated with wine. I recently had the great fortune to speak with Blackberry Farm Brewery's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Wine: Jean-François Mérieau "Bulles" Vintage: 2010 Country: France Region: Touraine (Loire Valley) Grapes: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay Vines: Organic Style: Dry sparkling Production: Small-medium I selected the Jean-François Mérieau “Les Bulles” 2010 wine for the May edition of The Vine Club, a subscription wine club I run through The Carriage Wine and Market here in Florence, Alabama. The Carriage is celebrating... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Wine: Huguet de Can Feixes Blanc Selecció Pronunciation: kahn FEH-shahs blahnk seh-lehk-see-OH Vintage: 2014 Country: Spain Region: Penedès Grapes: Parellada, Macabeo, Chardonnay, Malvasia de Sitges Vines: Sustainable Style: Dry, slight effervescence Production: Small-medium I discovered this bright, nervy white a few weeks ago at Western Supermarket in Mountain Brook on a business trip to Birmingham. Huguet Can Feixes Blanc Selecciò... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2015 at Pig&Vine
We've been dipping into the archives again here at Pig&Vine headquarters. Last week is it was the 2006 López de Heredia Crianza Rioja, which demonstrated how a nearly 10 year old, well-structured red can evolve. Today, the Schloss Wallhausen Riesling Kabinett 2006 from Nahe, Germany, shows us what an age-worthy white of the same vintage can do. Golden in color... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Aged wines are usually elusive treasures reserved for those with extra-expendable income or industry connections. Most of us never get to experience the nuance and softness a quality aged red can take on, or rarer still, the nutty golden tones of an aged white. What does it mean to age a wine? Those with great balance and structure will change... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2015 at Pig&Vine
From the Southern Rhône hail Daniel Boulle and his wife Helene with another rosé favorite of the season. They produce small lots of red and pink wines near Rasteau and Travaillon from biodynamically farmed vineyards and a very light touch in the winery. Concrete tanks, gravity-fed movement and no filtration on the reds tells me I've got find some of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at AmyCCollins
Wine is people. It evolves, it devolves, it ages and changes and suffers mood swings. It expresses itself differently with various foods the way people reflect different aspects of their character depending on the company they keep. When I wrote about the M. Plouzeau Chinon Rosé 2014 early last week, I'd found my favorite pink of the year, without question.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Like so many of the books that sit around my apartment untouched a year or more after the first passionate interest drove me to acquire them, I can not remember where I discovered Liebling. It was James Salter's 1986 introduction, quoted on the back of the book, that led me to finally pick it up (again) a couple of weeks... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I promise not to keep chattering on about my road trip like I've never been anywhere before, but I have to tell you about this gorgeous Chinon rosé I found in New Orleans. Marc Plouzeau is a new producer for me, though he and his father, Pierre, before him began turning the property into rockstar wine producing vineyards in 1989.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at Pig&Vine
There's freedom in taking to the road. The hours of sitting in the car are strung together in a static-kinetic time warp, and the whole day becomes a wash. Or it can, if you don't take the opportunity to stop along the way and discover something new. Sometimes you just need to get there and, in all honesty, I have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I've been hanging out in Austin, Texas, for the past several days eating, drinking and checking out the city. My friend and host took me to Perla's on South Congress for lunch on Friday and I quickly indulged in a few oysters on the half shell. Their raw bar carries 20 plus different kinds from both coasts, and I let... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I have enough oyster memories to fill an essay and, frankly, I just might do that some day. But those memories aren't really about eating oysters, per se, as I only just learned to like them a couple of years ago, when presented with a barely-dressed little gem at The Catbird Seat, one of Nashville's most elusive and acclaimed restaurants.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Robert and Kim Cripps bought the Poujol vineyards in the Languedoc in 1994. The region abuts Provence, the Southern French coastal region famous for it's rosé wines. Poujol drinks very much like the quintessential dry pink from that part of the world: bright, light, refreshing. Robert is from England and Kim is from the U.S., which makes them unique wine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2015 at Pig&Vine
No, not really. There are still plenty of other refreshing whites available if this one were to suddenly go out of stock. But I'd be disappointed. Every once in awhile, a little wine comes along and crosses your lips, flows across the tongue and slips down the throat with such grace and ease it makes you want to toss aside... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I first discovered Montinore Estate Gewürztraminer this past winter at an Oregon wine event in Birmingham, Alabama. The event is an annual collaboration between distributors in the state to show their Oregon selections, accompanied by winemakers and winery representatives, and titled "Pinot Camp," a nod to the Oregon wine industry's summer jubilee that educates and entertains wine trade professionals. I've... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I've been working behind the bar at The Carriage for a few weeks now. There's about a decade between today and the decade I spent in the food service industry and, let's just say the re-entry has been physically surprising. I underestimated how exhausted I would be at the end of a five-hour shift. I also underestimated how much fun... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Domaine Chevillon Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2011 is showing the best of both worlds: juicy, ripe cherry fruit and rustic pinot flavors only this part of the world can produce. On the nose, ripe and dried cherries, a bit of game and fresh earth, float from a ruby red hue. On the palate, more delicious cherry fruit and mineral tones accompanied by bright acidity and firm, smooth tannins. A lingering finish keeps the attraction strong. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Is it just me, or is there a sauvignon blanc renaissance happening? Or maybe it's always been the "it" grape and I've just begin to notice again how lovely and enticing a good sav blanc can be. To be honest, it's never been a favorite grape of mine, except Sancerre (and only on occasion), but lately I've tasted so damn... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2015 at Pig&Vine
"When trying to talk about wine in depth, one rapidly comes up against the limitations of our means of expression... We need to be able to describe the indescribable. We tasters feel to some extent betrayed by language." - Émile Peynaud Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Lima Vinho Verde 2013 is a classic example of the easy, bright wine from the Vinho Verde region in north west Portugal. Known as "green wine," Vinho Verdes are often racy wines with lemon notes and a tiny hint of sparkle on the tongue, and most often made from the alvarhino grape (albariño in Spain). This one's a little... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Pig&Vine