Relax, renew, revive…shoulder season…time to rest up for summer fun! What better way than over a restorative glass of wine!
Tastings include wines with appetizer pairings. Discounts on wines tasted: -10% on 1-5 bottles, -15% on 6+. RSVP 530-544-WINE (9463).
May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 5pm – Sunday Sippers Wine Tasting – Every Sunday at 5pm come to our fun, casual wine tasting. Each week a different theme is featured (e.g. Pinot Noir, French Wines, Value Wines). No rezzies required. $10.
May 4, 6pm – Mexican Food Wines, Tasting Tuesday – Get ready for Cinco de Mayo! 6pm. $15 advance, $20 at door
May 9, 12n-4pm – Mothers Day Brunch with Many Mimosas! We’re opening early for Mom with a delicious fixed menu and a variety of mimosa cocktails.
May 11, 6pm – Yin-Yang Wines, Tasting Tuesday– A wine world in perfect harmony… you’ll try Pinot Grigio & Pinot Noir…Sauvignon Blanc & Cabernet Sauvignon…and a surprise pairing. 6pm. $15 advance, $20 at door.
May 15 & 29, 8-10pm – Live Music With John Chevallier at Après Wine Company – Hear singer/songwriter and RSN reporter John Chevallier play Saturday at Après. No Cover, no RSVP necessary.
May 18, 6pm – Meet the Wine Guy, Tasting Tuesday– The ever popular encyclopedic wine guy, Jeff Boyer, is back to regale us with fine wines for the budget-minded. 6pm. $15 advance, $20 at door.
May 22, 8-10pm, Sat. – Live Music with Wes King– Hear singer/songwriter Wes King play this Saturday at Après. No Cover, no RSVP necessary.
May 25, 6pm – Merlot on the Comeback Trail, Tasting Tuesday– Do you look sideways at merlot ever since that infamous movie? Let us reintroduce you to this fantastic wine. 6pm. $20 advance, $25 at door.
June 1, 6pm – Wines of Summer, Tasting Tuesday– Perfect pairings to make you the coolest host at the hottest summer parties! 6pm. $15 advance, $20 at door
December 4 & 18,6-9pm – Live Music With Dorsey Williamson at Après Wine Company – Hear singer/songwriter Dorsey Williamson play his original tunes this Saturday at Après. No Cover, no RSVP necessary.
December 11, 7-9pm – Live Music With John Chevallier at Après Wine Company – Hear singer/songwriter John Chevallier play his original tunes this Saturday at Après. No Cover, no RSVP necessary.
Meet Our Musicians
John Chevallier - When John isn’t keeping us updated on the latest ski conditions and Lake Tahoe and Truckee events, he’s out playing or writing music. Rumor has it he started his music career in Vegas before moving to the mountains. Now, in Lake Tahoe, he’s finally found a more natural venue that fits his style allowing him to creatively express himself on and off the camera. Currently, John is writing/recording/producing/filming his next project which will include original songs.
Caught in the rapture of Tahoe mountain culture, John plans to stick around for a while. “Lake Tahoe is our community, and it is our responsibility to keep it a community. Support, love, and live local!” he says. Well put John. To contact John for booking information, please call (702) 592-3165
Dorsey Williamson - Thousands from San Francisco to Istanbul and Zurich to Shanghai have grooved on Tahoe troubadour Dorsey Williamson’s humorous and incisive original songs. Singer-songwriter Williamson is a crafty lyricist and plays guitar, harmonica, piano and bass. He’s collaborated with Jazz, Rock and Country musicians as well as Death-Metal giant, Karl Sanders, of Nile.
Dorsey says his songs are inspired by, “the stuff I listened to and loved growing up in South Carolina and Georgia…Folk, Country, New Wave, Punk, Rock and Art-Rock.”
Eclectic match-ups of style and unique lyrics make Dorsey a memorable listen- – and a good pairing with a glass of Dorsey’s current favorite, Amphora Pinot Noir, or one of the many fine wines Après offers by the glass.
Wes King – Singer/Songwriter Wes King hails from Music City, USA (aka Nashville). He has been playing guitar for over 13 years and has been writing and singing songs for four. Wes has been charming Tahoe audiences for 5 years. His alternative rock, bluesy style pairs as nicely with a big bold cabernet as it does with a buttery chardonnay. You’re sure to have a good time with Wes.
Singer/Songwriter Wes King appears on Saturday nights May 22 from 8-10pm. Hailing from Music City, USA (aka Nashville), he has been playing guitar for over 13 years and has been writing and singing songs for four. Wes has been charming Tahoe audiences for 5 years.
Wes has an alternative rock, bluesy style that pairs as nicely with a big bold cabernet as it does with a buttery chardonnay.
By Roseann Keegan, Tahoe Daily Tribune, April 9, 2010
Q: What type of business do you operate — what do you sell, or what service do you provide?
We’re a wine bar, bistro and full-service retail merchant of fine wines and gifts.
At Après, patrons can relax with friends, sample the best artisan-crafted wines from around the world, enjoy delicious meals and shop for wine accessories and uniquely Tahoe items made by local artists. Nearly 300 world-class wines are available by the bottle with a broad domestic and international selection to serve wine fans’ interests.
More than 50 different wines can be sampled daily on our innovative Enomatic wine dispensing machines from Italy. By inserting an Après Wine Pass (similar to a debit card), customers choose a wine, wait a second for the pour, then … swirl, sniff, sip and enjoy. These machines allow wine buyers to sample before the expense of buying a bottle, taking the stress and mystery out of choosing wine.
Après has weekly tasting events (Tasting Tuesdays and Sunday Sippers) and winery tastings. The wine bar can also be reserved for special events.
Q: Where are you from, and why did you decide to open your business here?
Previously, we lived in Los Angeles. JP’s mother bought a home here in 1975. Like so many people who have second homes, we spent the drive between Tahoe and L.A. discussing “how can we live in Tahoe?” A business idea developed around JP’s passion for wine. Some friends made us aware of Enomatic’s wine dispensing machines. Voila! We had our concept — a wine bar and shop built around the Enomatics.
Q: What experience do you have in this field?
JP brings 17 years of restaurant experience and another 35 of wine collecting to Après.He earned a UCLA Extension Vintage series certificate which covers viticulture, wine making, marketing, regional differences, industry economics and food and wine pairing. He is also an accomplished magician and member of Magic Castle.
Barb’s nearly 30 years in marketing and research required much “après work” wine drinking (and helped in developing our business plan and marketing strategy). Barb worked at Lieberman Research Worldwide as VP, Entertainment and Media, FOX Broadcasting as VP, Affiliate Research and Marketing and VP, Research for NBC’s Stations.
Q: What sets your business apart from other similar businesses?
Our people. We hired the best local staff in Tahoe, and it would be a crime not to mention them by name. Launa Martin, Danielle Loberg, Regina Sanz, Aaron Donnelly, Carey Jenkins and Moises Valencia have created an atmosphere unparalleled in Tahoe, focusing on friendly service, great food and superior wine selection
Q: What types of customers do you hope to reach?
People who love wine! Seriously, the recreation options in Tahoe have made the area a desirable place to live and a world-class tourist destination. According to Nielsen, more than 12 million people live within a tank of gas of Tahoe. Our research indicates our customers are generally drawn from local residents (30 percent) and tourists (70 percent).
Q: What are your plans for your company’s future?
We want to succeed and know the only way to do that is to be part of the community.
We are active in the local chamber, Ski Run BID, Lodging Association and Tahoe Art League. We actively support local charities like Barton Hospital Wine Auction, Festival of Trees, Lake Tahoe Education Foundation Oktoberfest, Soroptomists Food & Wine Tasting, St. Theresa Catholic School and Lake Valley Volunteer Firefighters.
Business Q&As are an opportunity the Tribune offers to its advertisers. If you’re interested in advertising with the Tribune, please contact us at (530) 541-3880. If you have business news, please send a 150-word announcement to Roseann Keegan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Business announcements are available to anyone.
Wine-Down Fundraiser to Benefit Three Local Non Profits
10% of all sales will benefit CASA, SLTWC and TYFS. Patrons must present the event flyer or coupon that evening in order for sales to go toward the fundraiser (CLICK HERE FOR FLYER).
Join Court Appointed Special Advocates, South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center and Tahoe Youth and Family Services at Après Wine Company on Friday April 23, 2010 for a very special fundraiser benefiting three local non profits.
Friday April 23rd from 5:00pm to 11:00pm marks the first of Après Wine Companies Wine-Down Fundraiser series. Owners, JP Lonergan and Barbara Tenney have committed to donating 10% of all purchases of wine, food, bottled wine and gifts from their retail shop that evening to CASA, SLTWC and TYFS. Tenney said, “We’re looking forward to a fun night with the friends, volunteers and employees of CASA, SLTWC and TYFS who make such a difference in South Lake Tahoe.Tell your friends to come to Après on April 23rd – let’s make a lot of money for these deserving organizations!”
The Wine-Down Fundraiser on Friday April 23rd is perfectly paired together on the same evening as the final V-Day Lake Tahoe 2010 benefit performance, A MEMORY, A MONOLOGUE, A RANT AND A PRAYER at Opal, inside of Mont Bleu Casino at 7:00pm. The three non profits have been selected as the local beneficiaries of the V-Day Lake Tahoe 2010 ticket sales from this performance. Après Wine Company will open their doors at 5:00pm in hopes for a big post work day, pre show Wine-Down crowd. The Wine- Down Fundraiser benefitting CASA, SLTWC and TYFS will be hopping all night and will Wine-Down and close its doors at 11:00pm.
CASA El Dorado – is a non profit organization that recruits, trains, and matches volunteer advocates with children that are part of the Court system as a result of abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers are appointed directly by a Judge and attend each Court hearing, advocating for the best interests of the child. It only takes one person to take a stand, make a difference and change a life of a child…forever.
South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center – is dedicated to improving the emotional, social, and economic condition of women and families in our community through prevention, intervention and treatment programs and services that address domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and basic needs. Tahoe Youth & Family Services – promotes the healthy development of children, youth, and families in our community by providing counseling, education and support services. The primary goal is to provide a safety net of services.
TYFS serves families through professional and confidential individual and family counseling, community outreach, mentoring, Project Safe Place, Wraparound services, emergency youth shelter and a 24-hour crisis line.
10% of all sales will benefit these three local non profits. Patrons must present a flyer or coupon that evening in order for the sales to go toward CASA, SLTWC and TYFS.
Relax, Wine-Down and enjoy your time at Après Wine Company on Friday April 23, 2010 from 5:00pm to 11:00pm knowing that you are making a difference in the community while enjoying delicious food, wine and company. Après Wine Company is located at the Ski Run Center – 3668 Lake Tahoe Blvd – South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Each month, members of Après Wine Company’s “Wines of the Month Club” receive selections from international world-class boutique vineyards. Unlike winery clubs that focus only on their own brands, usually from specific regions, we feature selections from around the globe. Our goal is to introduce you to vintners and varietals that you might not discover on your own.
We offer three tiers suited to your budget. Each level includes two bottles of wine exclusively discounted to Wines of the Month Club members. Club selections will include red, white and sparkling wines, tailored to the seasons. For example, in February (Valentine’s Day) or December, one bottle might be a sparkling wine. In winter months there will be more red wines in the plans.
Easy Rider Club – $29.99 plus tax/month: We search the globe for rare wines with great flavor and small price tags. We do the work, you enjoy the wine.
Slalom Club – $59.99 plus tax/month: There is no question phenomenal wine with big price tags can make you very popular at a cocktail party…but what about spending half that for the same impressive quality? Our expert wine team sniffs out these previously undiscovered beauties before they become famous and pricey. You can say “I knew them when!”
Black Diamond Club – $89.99 plus tax/month: Here we take you from the groomed runs to ride the steep deep powder of wine enjoyment. We focus on world class wines that take you to the next level with selections that are sure to rock your world!
Wines will be available for pick up in the first week of each month at our retail store (3668 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150). Shipping is available upon request.
So travel to the great wineries of the world from the comfort of Tahoe with Après Wine Company! Create a year-round gift by giving a friend an Après Wine Club membership.
Wines of the Month Club Members will also receive:
$5 Après Wine Company Tasting Card with each Wine of the Month Club pick up.
A 10% discount on all retail purchases including the Club Wines once they’ve been released to our retail store.
We can ship your fine wines (and gifts!). With the exception of a few states, wine can be delivered via UPS from our door to yours, provided a 21 year old is there to accept the package. If you have any questions about shipping wine, feel free to call or email us.
Read on – Rick from Amphora will be here for our June 22nd, 6pm Tasting Tuesday. Only $25 to try his magnificent wines.
From Tahoe to Wine Country
South Tahoe grad and winemaker is ‘paying it forward’
By Roseann Keegan, Tahoe Daily Tribune, April 1, 2010
The first time that Rick Hutchinson saw the cellar of a winery, he felt like he was walking into his mother’s kitchen.
“I took to it like a duck to water,” said Hutchinson, owner and winemaker for Healdsburg-based Amphora Winery. “I was number eight out of nine kids and my mom would can everything. That’s how we survived with all of those kids.”
Hutchinson, 55, returned to his childhood stomping grounds of South Lake Tahoe in March to host a winetasting at Après Wine Company. The 1973 South Tahoe High School grad said it was like “old home week.”
“The parking lot where Après was, I used to sweep that parking lot when I was a kid,” he said. “It was so cool to go and do a tasting there. It was a great group of people.”
During the visit, Hutchinson stayed at the Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge, near a landmark he remembered fondly.
“Where Blue Water (Bistro) is, I learned how to swim off the pier,” he said. “I caught my first 14-inch trout off the pier. As I got older, I did different things off the pier.”
He was also a paperboy for the Tahoe Daily Tribune from age 11 to 13, riding his bike through the snow to deliver the paper and winning several trips to the state fair for his efforts. He was so excited to board the bus for one such trip that he walked through a plate glass window at the newspaper office, scarring his knee.
“I was just so excited to get on that bus,” he said.
Catching the wine bug
The search for a vocation led Hutchinson to his birthplace of Sonoma County, where his family had lived until moving to South Lake Tahoe in 1962.
He got his first job in the wine business at age 20, working the bottling line of Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma for $3.50 an hour.
It was 1975 and California wines were a year away from getting their due at the famous “Judgment of Paris” wine tasting that helped put the state’s wines on the map. In the decades that followed, American palates broadened from white zinfandel to appreciate a wider variety of wines.
“The quality has expanded tremendously,” Hutchinson said. “The ‘vin ordinaire’ is just really, really good now.”
By the end of his first season at Sebastiani, Hutchinson had proved himself as a hard worker and was invited to work in the cellar.
After Sebastiani, he went to work for Robert Mondavi, who was just breaking away from his family’s Charles Krug label in St. Helena. Hutchinson left Mondavi’s winery after few months.
“I had the wine bug by then for sure,” Hutchinson said.
He worked at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma for a few years, and later a now-shuttered winery in Windsor called Balverne, where he was mentored by winemakers Doug Nalle and John Kongsgaard. At their urging, Hutchinson began taking enology classes at night at the University of California, Davis.
When Nalle became the winemaker at Quivira Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, he brought Hutchinson along. Hutchinson became Nalle’s full-time assistant for more than 12 years, with Nalle encouraging him to bottle his own wine someday.
Then Hutchinson turned 40.
“I started thinking, ‘What am I going to do? Work for another person for the rest of my life?’” Hutchinson said. “I’m a left-handed, right-brained winemaker, artist and musician, take it or leave it.”
Cadillac career with a used car budget
Right out of the gates, Hutchinson wanted to start Amphora with a few thousand cases of wine. But with humble beginnings, he started smaller.
“There’s a saying, ‘if you want to have a million dollars in the wine businesses, start with $20 million,’” Hutchinson said. “It’s somewhat of a rich man’s game, to tell you the truth.”
He broke out on his own with $50,000, producing 218 cases for his first vintage in 1997. The first bottling included petite sirah, syrah and a bit of zinfandel.
“I started Amphora with about the price of a luxury car,” he said. “Not even that — maybe a used Lexus.”
Just before Hutchinson started his winery, he joined a former girlfriend at a pottery class and discovered a love for throwing clay on the wheel. When he came across the word “amphora,” a ceramic vase used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to carry wine, he had it trademarked.
“Hutchinson is not sexy,” he said. “What are you going to do there, right?”
In 2005, Amphora moved from its first home — the basement of a rented prune barn — to a 6,000 square-foot facility. He produces 5,000 cases annually, including 14 current releases with five grape varietals from family-run vineyards.
“One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years is, don’t buy grapes from vineyard management companies that market rich people’s grapes,” Hutchinson said. “The best contract I have is a handshake. It’s the person who drives the tractor.”
And just as Hutchinson was encouraged to go it alone, he strives to mentor his own employees.
“I have a few apprentices underneath me, so I’ve kind-of paid it forward in a sense,” he said. “There’s a few who have their own winery that I’ve trained; one has his own label and works for me. I don’t look at it as competition or anything else. There’s room for everybody.”