Concentrate Ann Arbor recently took a look at the wine scene in Michigan. In the article, the author explains, “As the cults of craft beer and craft cocktails have gripped Michigan and the nation, wine hasn’t been in the spotlight for awhile.”
Vinny and John Jonna went on to explain, “that Vinology was created ‘to introduce into the wine community a broad, varied, and inquisitive selection of wines to try.’
In terms of choosing wine for Vinology, John said in the article, “We put things on our menu that maybe other restaurants would not, simply because we want to introduce our clients to the other side of the world.”
Our very own Ian Youngs recently had the very tough job of helping MLive find the very best cocktails in Ann Arbor. He started the jobs by treating reporter Kit Maher to one of our signature summer drinks, Some Like it Hot.
Describing what’s important in a summer cocktail, Youngs said,
“It’s humid and hot. We want something that’s going to quench the thirst,” Youngs said. “I’m going to be paying attention to the techniques used to make it…if it’s executed, if it’s balanced…perfect harmony.”
Want to know how to talk wine? Our very own John Jonna has some tips for you!
“The Language of Wine”
Wine sommeliers, the stewards of wine, have their own language when it comes to describing taste, textures, and aromas of the myriad of wines they evaluate. I would like to give some terms that you can use yourself, and help you to understand them if they are being expounded upon by a wine expert.
In judging any wine, color is your first indicator, and there are descriptors that are common. I like to describe color in terms of “hue”, where the deep, dark colors imply a richer, more intense wine, maybe with higher alcohol; and a lighter, more bright and iridescent hue would imply a softer, less tannic wine. You should carefully study the hue of any wine you try, and make a mental note of it.
In white wines, I prefer to use the term “ clarity”, which tells me the winehas a hue that is clean, not cloudy, and reflects light with “brilliance”. A brownish tinge on the rim of a tilted glass, called the “robe” or “meniscus”, could indicate an oxidized wine, which could have suffered from heat or air exposure.
In terms of aroma, your primary goal should be to first search for any aromas that would show a “flaw” in the wine, like nail polish, vinegar, sulfur, cabbage, cardboard, or wet basement. Any of these scents would tell you that that the wine suffered from improper vivification, or is “tainted” or “corked”. The term “corked” is wine lingo for any cork that has been infected by bad bacteria (TCA). It’s rare, and with the use of stew caps, which I highly approve of for wines meant to be consumed young, is being diminished.
If a wine has a pleasing and appealing “nose,” then all is fine.
In terms of taste, I like to use terms like “fruit forward”, indicating soft, easy drinking wines; “elegant”, meaning gentle, moderate acid; and “racy”, meaning high acid wine with lemon/lime notes.
Red wines high in alcohol and tannin are “big”, red wines that are mild and low acid are “gentle”, and really excellent, high quality wine can have a “long, lingering finish”.
Wines that don’t show aroma or flavor could be called “dumb”, “closed”, or “lacking personality”.
Some other words we might use: “attack”, “angular”, “ limpid”, “balanced”, “disjointed’, “nervous”.
Join us for our latest wine club event, Italian Wines: Back to the Future Wine on Thursday, August 24, from 6-8 p.m. You’ll taste old world Italian wine you should drink today. The event is sure to be a fun, laid back, delicious time!
For those of you who like to do your homework in advance, our featured wines are:
Abbazia di Novacella Kerner Alto Adige 2015 Andrea Felici Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jessi 2015 Gratis Ciutta Roballa Gialla Collio 2015 Valle del Acate Frapatto Vittoria 2015 Grati Mondo Caniolo IGT Toscana 2012 Tenuta Ibidini Nero DíAvola Sicilia 2015 Torre Raone Rosso Colline Pescaresi IGT 2011 Borgo Maragliano Brachetto Piemonte 2016
The cost for this can’t-miss tasting is $40/person. If you’re a member of our wine club, the tasting is free for you and half off for your guest.
Space for this event is limited, and reservations are required. Please call (734) 222-9841 to let us know you’ll be joining us.
We recently debuted our new summer cocktail menu and, although we’re biased, we think it’s inspired and refreshing. Our bartenders, Mark and Ian, both equally contributed to these creative concoctions.
In describing his favorite drink from the menu, Mark explained, “Not Easy Being Green’ features a muddled herb tequila that gives it a fresh flavor that’s in tune with the season. The housemade sage syrup perfectly complements the other flavors to create the perfect summer cocktail.”
Another fave of ours, the Iterum Arome is the beach drink you never knew you needed but have always wanted. It’s as pretty as it is tasty!
Stop in today to check out the new menu… or ask Mark or Ian to whip something up for you, using your favorite liquor.
If you’re like Chef Adam, you’re pretty excited to see fresh produce hitting the farmer’s market. Chef’s capitalizing on those new flavors with our new summer menu. Chef’s commitment to creating delicious meals using the freshest foods available really shine in a few of our favorite dishes.
A few highlights:
Rotating melon salad featuring heirloom melon – whatever is freshest at the time!, burrata, speck water cress, pumpernickel, and a honey vinaigrette
T-bone lamb chops served with bulgarian feta, chickpeas, zucchini fritter, cucumber, tomato, oregano, and greek yogurt
Asian inspired salmon with ginger, sushi rice, lemon grass, carrot puree, wakame, gai lan, and miso glaze
Brown rice chop salad with mung bean, edamame, scallion, carrot, radish, nappa cabbage, and a sesame-mustard vinaigrette
And, last but certainly not least, Jack Fruit Tamales with black beans, callaloo, tostones, pico de gallo, tomatillo, and miel de cacoa.
We’re pretty proud that our jack fruit tamales were crowned people’s choice at the recent Taste of Ann Arbor!
Stop in to taste the best the season has to offer!
Thank you to WXYZ-TV Detroit for talking with our very own John Jonna about the Corks for Support Event happening on June 1. The event, hosted by the Detroit Wine Organization, will take place at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Corks for Support will offer over 200 red, white, and sparkling wines by region. Ask questions of experts, enjoy live music, and bid on silent auction items.
Proceeds from Corks for Support benefit the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. Tickets are $85 per person and are available at DetroitWine.org.
Vinology is happy to introduce a new lead bartender on our team, Ian Youngs. Ian is a Michigan native who’s returning home after working in Aspen, Colo. for the last several years. In addition to a wealth of experience, he brings to us a healthy reverence for classic cocktails. We’re excited for what he’ll be serving up to our guests.
We took the time for a little Q&A with Ian, so you can get to know him!
Ian, you’re a classic come back story – moved away from Michigan before returning “home”. Tell us about your experience.
I grew up in the Irish Hills and attended Adrian High School. Then, I went to The University of Michigan and studied MCDB (Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology). In my senior year, I began my studies with The Master Court of Sommeliers, where I continue to learn more in the Wine World. As far as cocktail knowledge, I have learned all of my skills, cocktails, and style from working in various bars with various awesome bartenders, managers, and sommeliers. I helped run a bar program for the Hotel Jerome in Aspen Colorado, from which I was recruited to open, design, pick my team, and manage/bartend for Hooch, a craft cocktail bar in Aspen, Colorado. I continue to grow my knowledge through the Guild of Sommeliers and BarSmarts as well as various other classes, seminars, and books on the respective subjects.
What do you recommend to people unsure of what to order at the bar?
My views on choosing a cocktail are the same I have for choosing a wine: Go with what you like, but talk to your bartender/server/sommelier and have them guide you to the beverage that you will most enjoy. Cocktails on the house list are lovely, but know that we want to concoct the perfect drink to match your evening. We are professionals in this and have TONS of stuff to talk about and show our guests. If it’s specific to cocktails and you are feeling adventurous just sit at my bar and ask me to run with it. The world of cocktails has so much to offer and (like wine) has many wonderful ways of being expressed.
What’s your favorite food and drink pairing?
During my interview there, the food and beverage manager of the Hotel Jerome skyped me and asked, “If tomorrow was the last day on earth, tell me a classic cocktail – food pairing and a wine – food pairing.” Being that we were getting to know each other I relaxed a bit and joked around with him by answering, “For the wine I would have to go with a bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild and a lovely Roasted Duck. For the cocktail pairing, I’d have to choose a Boulevardier using Buffalo Trace with a rather large plate of nachos.”
What’s your favorite thing about being in Ann Arbor?
Well Ann Arbor has so much to offer that its hard to pin point a best part… but with regards to F&B I guess I would have to say the culture created in this city and how there is forever growing diversity of people and their peculiar pallets.
Posted on: February 16th, 2017 by Jen Cornell No Comments
We’re excited the Society of Women Engineers Regional Conference in will be in Ann Arbor March 10-12. Six hundred women will be attending this conference and each will be given a $15 Main Street Area Association gift certificate.
Attendees will have free time on Friday, March 10 to explore our downtown and will be making their way to our neighborhood to use their certificates. Join us at Vinology for our amazing brunch or happy hour, and let us show you the best dining experience in Ann Arbor!
Posted on: February 12th, 2017 by Jen Cornell No Comments
Thanks to your rave reviews, we’re an OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award winner. We love reading your feedback, and knowing that you’ve enjoying your dining experience with you. Reviews are important — they help us know what we’re doing right and where we can improve.