Pour Over These Picks From Your DLM Wine Experts

The Society of Wine Educators was founded in 1977 and is internationally recognized and regarded for both its quality and relevance to the industry. One such program that they offer is the CSW or Certified Specialist of Wine. We’re proud to have several CSW graduates here at DLM.

What is this program? It’s a rigorous exam that tests a candidate’s wine knowledge and mastery of key elements within the worlds of viticulture and wine production. Some specific topics tested include: physiology of taste, wine composition & chemistry, faults, viticulture & enology, labels, laws & wine regions, wine etiquette, and service. Candidates who achieve a score of 75% or better are distinguished as CSWs, and the pass rate is only about 30%, making it a great honor for those who complete this prestigious certification.

So next time you’re looking for a great everyday dinner wine or a rare special something, feel confident in asking the team at DLM for help—we love to talk about food & wine!

Check out Recommendations From Our DLM Experts Below!

Please note that each DLM location’s wine selection is uniquely curated, so some bottles listed below are not at all locations. 

Todd Templin, CSW

VP of Wine & Beer

Throughout his 30-year career here, Todd has fostered a love and knowledge of fine wine and food not only with customers, but within the DLM culture. His passion for sharing that knowledge has given rise to our sell-out Food & Wine Show, among other community-building events. Todd, an avid outdoorsman, has traveled the world visiting vineyards and attending top industry events, gaining a valuable trove of knowledge along the way.

Best Kept Secret: Hands-down, the people. They want you to have the best experience with food and wine at any price point and they have the ability to pair wine with a dinner as an accompaniment to make both better!
Holiday Pairing Picks: For Heavenly Ham®, an Oregon Pinot Noir, like Chehalem Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley ($25). If Prime Rib is the star, Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Merlot Napa Valley ($30) is a
beautiful choice.
Festive Champagne Pick: Guyot Choppin Brut ($35) and Aubry Brut Premier Cru ($45), a “farmer fizz,” which means it’s made by a family that also farms the grapes.
Sparkling Wine for Brunch: More like a “frizzante,” I love La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti ($23) for brunch. Its fizzy, super lovely fruit has a touch of sweet and is low in alcohol … so it’s really perfect for continuing past brunch!
Favorite Big Red: Titus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($50) from the Titus family. They’re making such great wine that most wineries would be charging double for.
Best Picks Under $15: Domaine de Nizas Le Clos ($10) from Languedoc in the south of France is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre that’s full of bright fruit and some gumption.

 

George Punter, CSW

Wine & Beer Manager, DLM Washington Square

You can’t help but smile when you meet George because he is often smiling himself. There’s good reason, too. “This is my third career and my favorite,” says George, noting that it was his passion for wine that brought him to DLM 18 years ago. Much like the evolution of the various chapters in George’s career, his taste in wine has changed, too, over the years. “Your palate changes and so do your likes and dislikes.”

Best Kept Secret: Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva 2016 ($16).
Holiday Pairing Picks: For Heavenly Ham®, I’d recommend a dry Rosé from France. For Prime Rib, go for a big Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Festive Champagne Picks: Pehu-Simonet Extra-Brut Champagne ($59, available at DLM WSQ & OAK) and Marc Hébrart Champagne Brut Rosé ($62, available at DLM WSQ & SPR).
Sparkling Wine for Brunch: Dibon Cava Brut ($12).
Favorite Big Red: Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($60) or Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($122).
Best Picks Under $15: Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County ($15) and Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano ($14), a Tuscan white wine that is both crisp and minerally without being heavy and oily. Perfect with
a cheese plate, seafood, or light fowl.

GEORGE’S UPCOMING CLASSES:

  • Alsace Region Wine Dinner with George, 6-8:30 p.m. Feb. 4. This will be a fun evening of delicious French dishes paired with fantastic wines and lively conversation. Limited seating available. REGISTER NOW
  • Wine 101, 6-8 p.m. March 10, in the DLM Culinary Center, is the perfect into to the wonderful world of wine. He’ll walk guests through the basics of tasting while you sip through a curation of six wines. Limited seating available. REGISTER NOW

Stephany Madliger, CSW

Wine & Beer Manager, DLM Oakwood

Prior to coming to DLM, Stephany performed as an opera singer, including with the Dayton Opera Chorus. After starting at DLM 21 years ago, she would read anything she could get her hands on about the wine industry to grow her knowledge. Over the years, she has relished the life experiences of touring vineyards in Portugal, Spain, and even South Africa.

Best Kept Secret: The Prisoner Wine Company Unshackled Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ($25).
Holiday Pairing Picks: For Heavenly Ham®, J.L. Chave Mon Coeur Côtes-duRhône 2018 ($25). For Prime Rib, go for Andronicus Red Blend 2018 ($35).
Festive Champagne Pick: Château de Bligny Blanc de Blancs ($51, available at DLM WSQ & OAK).
Sparkling Wine for Brunch: Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire ($17).
Favorite Big Red: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 ($65).
Best Picks Under $15: Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano ($14) and Les Garrigues Côtes-du-Rhône 2017 ($12).

 

Elliot Spitler, CSW

Wine & Beer Manager, DLM Springboro

Elliot, a graduate from The Ohio State University and our newest Wine & Beer Manager, realized that he wanted this job after observing how so much of George’s role was relationship building with customers and distributors. “It’s very awesome that winemakers from around the world visit our stores to tell the stories about their wineries and wines, so that we can better educate and inform our customers.”

Best Kept Secret: The Fine Wine Room. Out of sight from the main pathways through the department, many customers don’t even know it exists. Temperature controlled at 55°F, there are many luxury items in there in addition to very moderately priced ones, too.
Holiday Pairing Picks: For Heavenly Ham®, Pahlmeyer Jayson Pinot Noir ($50). With Prime Rib, Turley Old Vines Zinfandel ($37).
Festive Champagne Pick: Taittinger Brut Champagne ($55).
Sparkling Wine for Brunch: Biutiful Cava Brut Nature ($12), also available in a Rosé.
Favorite Big Red: Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon ($70).
Best Picks Under $15: Kalpela Vineyards Red Blend ($11) and Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc ($15).

 

Teresa Borros-Kearney, CSW

Beer and Wine Consultant, DLM Washington Square

What started with a wine course years ago through a local restaurant, has blossomed into both a passion and second career for Teresa, a former chemist. She joined DLM 20 years ago, and loves the aspect of pairing wine with different foods. Although she finds her personal tastes gravitating toward “old world” wines, she also enjoys many domestics as well.

Best Kept Secret: We have a wide selection of cocktail ingredients, including bitters, liqueurs, and vermouths, as well as many specialty non-alcoholic mixers.
Holiday Pairing Picks: I like a riesling with Heavenly Ham® and a nice California Cabernet Sauvignon with Prime Rib.
Festive Champagne Picks: Marc Hébrart Brut Rosé ($62, available at DLM WSQ only) and the Mumm Cordon Champagne Rouge.
Sparkling Wine for Brunch: I like Cavas from Spain as they’re made in the traditional style. Biutiful Cava Brut Nature ($12) and Juvé & Camps Cava ($18) are both very nice and made in a very dry style.
Favorite Big Red: A Barolo from Piedmont, Italy, and a California Cabernet Sauvignon.
Best Picks Under $15: Hyatt Vineyards Rattlesnake Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, Washington ($12), and Domaine de Pajot Les 4 Cépages White Blend Gascogne, France ($11).

TERESA’S UPCOMING CLASSES:

Virgil Clark, Aspiring CSW

Beer and Wine Consultant, DLM Washington Square

Virgil started at DLM when he was 16 years old, working in a number of roles before joining the Beer & Wine department.  “I got into the department out of an interest in craft beer but I quickly became enamored with wine and wanted to learn as much as possible, he says. “The greatest thing about working in wine is the vast amount you can learn, I found that you often aren’t just learning about wine, but you learn about a cultures cuisine and history as well.” His time in the Beer & Wine Department has also offered unique experiences, such as a trip to California where he was able to compete in a small cooking competition. “We were divided into two teams and had to compete to make a three-course meal that we had to pair with three different wines. It was the moment that my love of cooking and my love of wine intersected and I realized how the right wine with the right meal can make create a better combined experience than either on their own,” he says.

Best Kept Secret: Our selection of Amber wines from Georgia or Slovenia.
Holiday Pairing Picks: For Heavenly Ham®, try a dry sparkling wine like a Brut Champagne or Cava. For Prime Rib, I would recommend a Cabernet Sauvignon from California or a Zinfandel.
Festive Champagne Pick: Juvé & Camps Cava, Spain ($18).
Sparkling Wine for Brunch: Indigenous Prosecco Brut Italy ($15).
Favorite Big Red: Sequum Kidd Ranch Zinfandel Napa Valley ($41).
Best Picks Under $15: Cune Crianza Rioja Spain ($15), and Clos des Grands Primos Muscadet Loire Valley ($14).

 

 

5 Things to Know About Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. The 80- to 90-lb wheels of cheese designated as Parmigiano-Reggiano must only be made by approved producers. They are made by traditional methods that have been used for more than nine centuries.

2. We choose to have our Parmigiano-Reggiano aged for 24 months—longer than most. We think this has the best balance of flavor, texture, and aroma. The wheels are carefully aged in special rooms where they are cleaned and kept at specific temperatures and humidity.

3. As the cheese ages, peptones, peptides, and free amino acids form. When these crystalize, they give Parmigiano-Reggiano its distinctive, slightly crunchy texture, as well as making it a healthy, easy to digest food.

4. After aging for one year, professional cheese testers from the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium scrutinize each wheel for maturation, aroma, color, consistency, and internal structure. After passing inspection, the wheel is branded with the Consortium’s symbol and finishes aging.

5. Once a wheel is opened, it’s susceptible to oxidation, like a fine wine, and should be wrapped in clean plastic wrap. Store in the warmest part of the fridge and never freeze.

 

DLM’s Todd Templin, front right, visits the aging room for Parmigiano-Reggiano and takes in the wonderful aromas of a freshly split wheel.

 

French Food You Must Try at DLM

A lot of folks think of art, romance, and the Eiffel Tower when France comes to mind. For us, it’s all about the French food & wine! There is not a region of France that does not produce some great beverage or gastronomic morsel that is not in demand throughout the world, and we are so fortunate to have such a plethora of great French food here at DLM. So come along and have a French picnic or French-inspired dinner right here in Dayton!

27 French Food Items You Must Try

 

1. LE VILLAGE SPARKLING FRENCH LEMONADE

Perfect for cocktails or a laid-back Saturday afternoon. Try it as the French do in a panaché: half lemonade and the other half a lager beer.

2. MACARON

Featuring a unique array of flavored shells and fillings, we get this French food favorite from our dear friend Ghyslain. Ship them!

3. MADRANGE JAMBON NATURAL HAM

No added nitrites, nitrates, water, or coloring, enjoy this ham on a baguette with a hint of Dijon mustard and cornichons.

4. MICHE BREAD

“Miche” is literally a French word for “loaf” and a fitting tribute to this bread’s rustic character. After tasting it on a bakery-lined street in Paris, we knew we needed to bake this bread at DLM!

5. J. LEBLANC HUILE DE NOIX WALNUT OIL

You’ll love the beautiful aroma of roasted walnuts from the south of France. For a vinaigrette, combine with Banyuls Vinegar or lemon juice. Have it shipped!

6. LE PITHIVIER

Named after the town where it originated in the Loire region of France, this puff pastry has a light almond cream.

7. OYSTERS

Walk into any French restaurant and you will likely see an oyster dish on the menu. In fact, it’s estimated that France is the No. 1 consumer and exporter of this wine of the sea.

8. JACQUES GONIDEC SARDINES

The ultimate treat smeared on a cracker, bread, or even eggs. Hand packed in olive oil and available with tomato, lemon, or chili peppers!

9. GROIX & NATURE SALMON OR SCALLOP RILLETTES

Fishing is second nature to the inhabitants of the island Groix in Southern Brittany. We like these delicacies on DLM Italian Mini Toasts, warm blinis, or in a salad.

10. FICELLE SANDWICHES

With varieties like The Parisian, you’ll be picnic-ready with a few of these French-style sandwiches in your basket.

11. CROQUE MONSIEUR

French ham, Gruyère cheese, and our béchamel sauce, grilled to perfection at our Sandwich Station!

12. LE CHOCOLAT DES FRANÇAIS

Delicious and fun, these high quality French chocolate bars have a whimsical side with labels that remind one slightly of an Andy Warhol collection.

13. DLM BUTTER CARAMELS

The Paris-Caramels company’s reputation is based on the quality of the ingredients with only Charentes-Poitou PDO butter, milk, crème fraîche, and French cane sugar used in the making of these decadent treats.

14. LA MOUTARDERIE EDMOND FALLOT

Located in the charming village of Beaune (the heart of Burgundy), this mustard is unrivaled by any other taking this simple condiment to near gastronomic perfection!

15. LES COMTES DE PROVENCE

Jams with a wonderfully distinct flavor while not being overly sweet. Try spread over buttered Farmhouse toast.

Fromage of France

France’s varied terroir can sustain different milk-producing animals resulting in a variety of cheeses. Here are some of our favorites, clockwise from the top left!

16. MORBIER

A rich cows’ milk cheese with a traditional line of ash separating the morning and evening milk. This pungent cheese is great on a baguette with a glass of red wine.

17. P’TIT BASQUE

Sheeps’ milk cheese from the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains. This mild, delicate cheese is the perfect charcuterie accompaniment.

18. BRIE DE MEAUX

This is the luscious, true Brie from the region of Meaux. With its bloomy rind and earthy aromas, it’s simply divine with jams from Les Comtes de Provence served on top!

19. MIMOLETTE

An interesting cows’ milk cheese with a burnt orange color. It’s buttery in the palate with a slightly nutty, salty tone that makes it great in omelets!

20. LE PAPILLON ROQUEFORT

A sheeps’ milk cheese made in the world-famous caves of Roquefort. Simply smear on warm and crusty bread.

 

French Wines

21. LA FERME DE GICON CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROSÉ 2018

From the south of France, this is summer in a bottle with its bright, dry strawberry and raspberry fruit and floral tones. Made primarily of Grenache with a touch of Syrah, it is perfect with a cheese and olive plate.

22. CLARENDELLE BORDEAUX ROUGE 2015

A new favorite of ours with its blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Ample black currants and silky smooth tannins make it a very friendly dinner wine.

23. CHAMPALOU VOUVRAY LA CUVÉE DES FONDRAUX 2017

This Loire Valley wine shows a lot of stone fruit and orange peel wrapped in an elegant sheath of crisp acidity, pairing well with seafood and a variety of French food. This is a seriously good Chenin Blanc from vines averaging 45+ years!

24. CLOS LA COUTALE CAHORS 2015

This is the ultimate dinner wine that is just the right balance of rustic old worldliness and total drinkability! A blend of primarily Malbec and a touch of Merlot, this wine is made for grilled steaks.

25. CHÂTEAU GRAVILLE-LACOSTE GRAVES BLANC 2017

A crisp, invigorating white wine that is made primarily from Sémillon in Bordeaux. It lends itself well to seafood, roasted chicken, or a salad with a vinaigrette made with Leblanc Huile de Noix Walnut oil.

26. FLORENSAC PICPOUL DE PINET 2017

A great everyday white wine that’s crisp, clean, and vibrant making it perfect as a crowd pleaser on the patio or paired with light seafood or poultry dishes.

27. DOMAINE DE VERQUIÈRE RASTEAU

Organically farmed Grenache and Syrah from a small family estate beneath the limestone cliffs of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Intensely flavored, it’s a beautiful wine paired with grilled foods or a hearty cheese and charcuterie plate.

Irish Cheddars to Treasure

It seems that in March, everyone is a touch Irish and enjoys a pint or two of great Irish beer, particularly with that favorite American pastime—college hoops! However, Ireland is known for a plethora of wonderful food traditions and amongst our favorites are the cheeses!

Oscar Wilde Irish Cheddar is aged for two years and made with the milk of cows that are pasture fed during the months of milk production in County Cork.

Dubliner is like a Cheddar in texture but with the sweet, nutty taste of a Swiss and piquant flavor of an aged Italian-style cheese. It’s perfect with an Irish stout and charcuterie.

Cahill’s Irish Whiskey Cheddar, originally made for festive occasions, is now a year-round treasure. It’s made using Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey that lends a savory, rich tone. You’ll also love Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheese, which is odd-looking, but is perfect as the centerpiece on a cheese board.

Tiny Bubbles

Occasions to break out the sparkling wine evoke much anticipation and result in special memories for many people, whether celebrating a special anniversary, a new beginning, or a toast at a holiday gathering. “Bubbles” are a happy beverage and they pair beautifully with darn near any dish! We believe that all sparkling wine in any number of varying styles and originating regions can be a magical addition to any meal or event. Here are a few of our favorites!

Laurent-Perrier

A great value, this is from the historic city of Reims, France. Dry and elegant with a nose of bread dough yeast and a long finish.

Schramsberg Brut Rosé

Long the standard bearer of super well-made American bubbly, this is the consummate apéritif. Dry with wonderful strawberry and apricot notes; pairs well with smoked salmon dishes.

Dr. L Riesling

Yes, sparkling Riesling!  A bright, clean sparkling wine that is ultra-charming and super affordable!

Veuve Clicquot Rosé

A French favorite, this is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and a touch of Chardonnay creating a fruity, full-bodied expression of the Veuve Clicquot style and perfect with an oyster platter.

La Marca Prosecco

An Italian sparkling wine that is quite dry and refreshing with dried apple, honeysuckle, and peach fruits.

Gruet Brut

Made in the French-style with a hint of dough mid-palate, this New Mexico favorite is crisp and sophisticated with apple and citrus flavor.

A Gastronamic Tour de France

The bicycle world’s Tour de France consists of 21 stages over the course of about three weeks in July. While the thought of that spectacle is daunting and exhausting, we like to think of a wonderful idyllic saunter through the culinary landscape of this country that seems to ooze gastronomical finds from every square inch. So, set your own pace and journey to France via a Tour de DLM with these specialties.

CHAMPAGNE
In the great city of Reims, the heart of Champagne, we like to think of bubbles that make any occasion special. Guyot Choppin Brut Champage is tangy, full of fresh apple fruit, and mineral driven—begging for a bowl of clams simmered in white wine. Add a refreshing twist to a salad with Champagne Vinegar by J. Leblanc.

ÎLE-DE-FRANCE
Not far from Paris is the commune of Meaux and the great Brie de Meaux, which is perfect on a warm baguette with a glass of wine, or with a preserve, such as Bonne Maman or L’Épicurien… ooh la la!

GRAND EST
In years past, Strasbourg has hosted Tour de France riders. It’s also home to the wines of Hugel, a family estate since 1639. We’ve had the pleasure of sitting with family members of the estate and tasting their Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Gentil, which is a blend of several varietals making it crisp, vibrant, and lively

FRANCHE-COMTÉ
Heading not far south, one comes to the region of France where you’ll find one of the great cheeses, St. Antoine Comté Gruyère, made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. This cheese melts in your mouth, leaving you with flavors that range from dense and smoky to sweet and fruity; cut into small straw-like pieces on a cheese tray or use in a fondue with a splash of white wine.

BURGUNDY
While in Burgundy, one must have the mustard, cheese, escargot, and of course, the wine! The 2016 Côtes Salines Bourgogne Chardonnay is one of our favorites this summer and it showcases the fruit perfectly. Try with a roasted chicken or cheese plate (and include a generous dollop of Edmond Fallot Mustard while you’re at it). A favorite cheese of ours from Burgundy is the Époisses de Bourgogne, which is a pungent, soft-paste cow’s milk cheese that is simply heaven in a little round container.

SOUTHERN FRANCE
In the south of France is one of the great blues of the world—Le Papillon—and it started as any good French story: love. A young shepherd was distracted by a shepherdess. Forgetting his rye bread and sheep’s milk cheese in the cave of Combalou, he left to pursue the girl. He later returned to discover his meal covered in a blue-green mold. Famished, he tasted the cheese and was delighted. Roquefort was born! Another great, P’tit Basque, is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. Enjoy with with charcuterie, fruit, or grilled veggies. Southern France also has so many superb wines, but a great warm-weather favorite is the 2017 Picpoul de Pinet Florensac. It’s minerally, crisp, clean, and perfect for summer entertaining. Other delights that we’d be amiss to not mention include Maison Pébeyre Truffle Mayonnaise founded in a small southern French village in 1897 and Vinaigre de Banyuls.

LOIRE VALLEY
Loire is where many of the fairytale castles of France can be found. We love to pour a glass of La Vigne des Sablons Vouvray, a deliciously dry and mineral-driven wine, with a chilled plate of oysters—simply a magical pairing.

BRITTANY
M. Gilles Hervy Fleur de Sel is a yummy grey natural sea salt harvested from the Atlantic.

NORMANDY
Pierre Biscuiterie French Butter Cookies have been made in the French Countryside since the 19th century. Another sweet delight from this region is one of our favorite whipped creams in a can, Isigny Sainte-Mère

The Makings of a Rosé Picnic in 3 Steps

Pink wine, aka rosé, always elicits a smile this time of year because it’s springtime in a bottle! With bright fruits, crisp acids, and generally dry finishes, they’re perfect for an impromptu gathering on the patio or better yet, a picnic! Grab a picnic blanket, pour some rosé, and add these DLM favorites for a perfect springtime spread.

Step 1: Pick the Wine

  • Terra d’ Oro 2017 Rosé: A blend of Grenache and Nebbiolo that’s delightfully dry with nuances of orange blossom and strawberry.
  • Kim Crawford 2017 Rosé: A New Zealand find with a dry finish that we couldn’t resist that’s bursting with red berry fruit and a tinge of watermelon!
  • Charles & Charles 2017 Rosé: Blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise.
  • Bieler Père et Fils Rosé from Provence: Full of bright floral and citrus tones that just make you happy!
  • Bierler Family Daisy: We couldn’t resist this daisy among the Rosés! Primarily Pinot Grigio with a bit of Riesling, Muscat, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Step 2: Choose Your Cheese 

  • Brie de Meaux: From the town of Meaux, in the region of Brie located just east of Paris, this cheese has wonderfully full  lactic tones with a mottled, soft-ripening bloomy rind and earthy aroma.
  • Société Roquefort: Having emerald-green veining and a creamy, moist texture, this sheep’s milk cheese is complex and rich making it perfect with a slice of pear and baguette.
  • Comté St. Antoine Gruyère: Melts in your mouth with a flavor range from dense and smoky to sweet and fruity!

Step 3: Don’t Forget the Accompaniments 

  • Rustic Bakery Sourdough Flatbread: Organic and baked by hand with natural products, these flavorful crackers are perfect for cheese and wine pairings.
  • DLM French Baguette: with a crispy crust and light airy interior and tasting just as if you were at a Parisian café, these baguettes are hearth baked everyday from scratch.
  • Les Trois Petits Cochons Cornichons Piquants: The perfect punch of sweet and spicy baby Gherkins from one of our favorite purveyors!
  • Les Trois Petits Cochons Charcuterie: Already sliced and ready for your charcuterie board, The DLM Cheese Shop has an assortment of Saucisson Sec aux Cepes, Saucisson Sec aux Herbes de Provence, and Chorizo.