ARCHIVE OF QUESTIONS.

Do your stores carry organic wines?

Our Market Street locations do carry and have access to organic wine as well as wines from sustainable earth-friendly vineyards.

I am trying to find a really good Texas white wine and Texas red wine. What brands can you recommend?

There are a number of good choices available. Great choices are Llano Signature Red, Signature White , Becker Fascination and Chardonnay. We would recommend our recently released Outlaw Anthem Heartbreaker and Outlaw Anthem Wanted , Farm to Market Moscato or Llano Moscato if you are looking for some sweetness in your white wine. Our Market Streets all are staffed with wine stewards able to assist you with needs.

What is a good red wine that I can give as a gift?

We have a number of red wines that would make excellent gifts. There are a lot of factors to look at such as the amount you want to spend. The best suggestion we would have is that you visit with one of our wine stewards at any of our Market Street locations. They will be able to show you a selection of red wines in various price ranges that would fit your request.

What are the grape varietals used in your Farm to Market White?

The blend is 60 percent Chardonnay with the balance being Chenin Blanc, Viognier and a small amount of Moscato. The wine is done in a dry style but emphasizing the fruit character.

What is required to get the wine labels with pictures, etc., on them. I would like to have all items needed beforehand. What is the cost to have the labels made?

There is no cost for labels. Bring you files or your pictures with you so the labels can be made.

I am looking for 14 Hands Merlot. Do you carry this in the McKinney location? I've also been searching everywhere for Murphy Goode Merlot, but no seems to carry it. Do you carry this now?

We carry 14Hands Merlot at the McKinney location. We don't carry the Murphy Goode Merlot. However, we will be happy to get the wine for you. Just visit with one of our wine staff at the McKinney store about your needs and they will assist.

Do you carry Mi Sueno?

We are in the process of expanding our wine selection from Spain in our Market Street locations. This particular wine is not one that is currently carried by any of our distributors.

I need a dry sparkling wine to make Bellinis. What do you recommend?

Bellinis traditionally are blended with a Prosecco. We would suggest either La Marca Prosecco or Mionetto il Prosecco. If the recipe calls for an extra dry sparkling, we would suggest Korbel Brut Extra Dry or Freixenet Brut Extra Dry.

As we know, taste is in the buds of the beholder. I thought I drank the perfect Pinot Noir with a 2002 Gaithier. However, I do not have the experience to describe it to store buyers or experts so that I can find an equivalent, and it's particularly hard because the wine is so difficult to find. Can you help?

Gauthier comes from Los Carneros, a cool climate growing area that is located in the very southern portions of both Napa and Sonoma. Due to its proximity to the bay, it is much cooler then the more northern parts of either Napa or Sonoma. This tends to lead to a slightly more acidic wine style (not flabby) and a somewhat more "spicy/some say earthy" style due in great part to the longer hang time that these grapes need to reach maturation (cooler climate = longer time on the vine to reach maturity). In addition, most wineries from this area tend to drop lots of fruit to improve the grape concentration which leads to a much lower yield, better wines and higher costs. Gauthier retails for $30 in California. The best consistent producer in the same price range that we carry from the same area would probably be Etude. Others (bottle will say Los Carneros) would include Chandon, Artesa and Saintsbury.

I am trying to find a Pinot Noir, Gypsy Dancer from Willamette Valley. Is this carried at the Coppell location?

This wine comes from a very small winery in Oregon. The winemaker, Gary Andrus, passed away in January 2009. The small amount of inventory of his remaining wines is being sold at the winery, and we are unable to obtain any for sale here in Texas. Sorry we couldn't be more help.

I am trying to find a store that carries Villa M Moscato and Villa M Rosso or red.

All of our Metroplex locations carry the Gagliardo Villa M Moscato. The Rosso is out of stock with the distributor, but new inventory of Rosso is due in two to three weeks.

I live in Plano, and I'm looking for Cakebread Chardonnay. Do you sell that product?

We receive only so much of this product, and we have sold our allotment of the regular Cakebread Chardonnay. However, the Market Street in Plano still has some Cakebread Reserve Chardonnay.

Do you carry Dr. Loosen Riesling? It is distributed by Glazers in Farmers Branch.

We do carry this wine, and it should be available in all of our Market Street locations.

I am looking for a very sweet, not very strong wine. Someone told me Bosc Muscato. Do you carry anything like that?

We don't carry the wine you have noted. However, we would recommend Llano Moscato or Farm to Market Moscato. Both have a high residual sugar level and will be sweet.

I've heard that you never use soap to wash wine glasses. True? How do I get them sparkling clean?

Very light soap is ok on most wine glasses, however the best approach is to wash in hot water only. To put a nice polish on the glasses try boiling water. Hold the glass in the steam from the water. Remove and polish with a micro fiber cloth or any cloth that is lint free.

I love Cabernet Franc. Do you carry a collection of moderately priced (under $20) Franc in your stores and if so, which labels do you recommend?

Cabernet Franc is one of those 'under-the-radar" gems. Most wineries have a small amount in their vineyards and usually use it for blending. However there are those who feel this wine stands well on its own. Currently, some of our stores have the Ironstone Cabernet Franc on their shelves and it retails for well below $20. It has the typical dark fruit, black tea and lush tannins associated with Cabernet Franc.

I have been looking for the Gauthier Pinot Noir. Do you carry it at your Coppell store?

We have checked with out distributors and do not have access to Gauthier Pinot Noir at this time.

I am taking a wine to a party this weekend, and I know very little about wine. What do you suggest I take?

Without knowing what foods will be offered at the party, our suggestions would be to take a universal wine that should go with almost anything. We suggest Farm to Market Red or Farm to Market White.

Do you carry St. James Wines?

We did at one time, but we no longer carry them.

Where can I buy a bottle of Villa M filtrato dolce?

This wine is available in a number of our Market Street locations. Just ask one of our Wine stewards for the Gagliardo Moscato Villa and thanks for shopping Market Street.

I am looking for a wine from Chile called Yali. Do you carry it at your Coppell store?

We have been checking with our suppliers and been unable to locate a source for this wine at this time. We will keep the brand in mine as we source future new items.

Do you have a magnum of champagne? If so, what is the price and does it come in a box for gift wrapping?

We do not carry these in our everyday inventory. However, our wine stewards can get a special order of a magnum of champagne. Please contact one of them at any of our Market Street stores, and they will be able to assist with selection and pricing.

Do you carry Twin Springs Sweet Red?

A number of our stores carry this item. All of our stores have access to it. Please contact one of our Team Members at the store where you shop, and they will be able to assist you with getting the wine special ordered if it is not already handled in that store.

I am looking for a dessert wine to pair with pumpkin cheesecake and red velvet cake. What would you suggest?

For the pumpkin cheesecake, a good dessert wine choice would be Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Wine. It will be available primarily in our Market Street stores. The red velvet cake is a little bit tougher. There is a lot of sweet there. We suggest Banfi Rosa Regale. One other suggestion is Moet Nectar Imperial; it would go well with both.

What is the best Texas Cabernet Sauvignon in your opinion?

We can't truly say which one is best, but we can say that our Guests are especially fond of the Becker Iconoclast Cabernet and the Llano Cabernet. Each is a great choice.

I am looking for a sweet wine. Several varieties would be good.

We offer a number of sweet wines in both red and white varietals and in various price ranges. All moscatos will be sweet to varying degrees. Some of our better selling sweet wines are Llano Sweet Red, Llano Moscato, Castello Del Poggio Moscat. There are also some German Alsace wines available that will be on the sweeter side as well as some dessert wines.

Do you carry Christy Kerr Curvature 2006 Cabernet?

We have been unable to locate a distributor in Texas who is carrying this wine and do not carry this item.

I am looking to get private label wine ordered for a 50th anniversary party. Can you provide contact information to make this happen? I saw it advertised at your Coppell location.

First of all, congratulations on the upcoming 50th anniversary. Our wine staff at the Coppell store will be able to assist you in making the proper contact and arranging for the wine to be delivered to our store when requested. Should you need more than six bottles, we will have a 10 percent discount available on your purchase.

Do you carry Chateau Mondotte-Bellisle Saint Emilion 2004? We purchased a bottle at your McKinney store once but cannot seem to find it now. I would love to purchase more!

We checked with our supplier on this wine. Unfortunately, they have sold out and do not have more available.

Does United have any more of the Festival 34 Merlot in stock and what was the story behind this wine?

We are out of the Festival 34 Merlot. This was a wine that another retailer had sold at $12.99 and had discontinued. We were able to purchase the inventory that was held by the supplier at a closeout price and pass it on to our Guests at a 3/$10.00 retail price until those cases were depleted. We will continue to source those type of opportunities and pass them on to our Guests as they become available.

Do you guys carry the Eat Pray Love wine?

We have checked with our distributors and do not have anyone carrying this wine at this time.

Do you carry Ed Hardy sangria wine?

We do carry Ed Hardy Sangria in a number of our stores. It is available for all but not carried in some of the stores because of space limitations. Please ask one of our managers at the store you shop, and we will be happy to assist you.

Do you carry a pinot gris wine?

Yes, we do have numerous Pinot Gris to choose from. We proudly offer many of Oregon and California’s top producers, like King Estate, Acrobat, Cline, MacMurray and Firesteed; as well as those from Europe including the famed Alsace region of France, such as Trimbach, Hugel and Villa Wolf from Germany.

Pinot Gris is actually the same grape varietal as the more widely known Pinot Grigio. Stylistically, Pinot Grigio, the Italian name for the grape, often times is a lighter-bodied, crisp wine showing notes of citrus and grass. The Pinot Gris style tends to be medium to full-bodied with a certain lush characteristic, delivering richness and body over crispness. Often times more aromatic as well, it offers layers of orchard fruits, such as apples, pears and melons. Pinot Gris can also bring hints of subtle spice along with a great balance of acidity and texture, making it a very popular food wine for oenophiles (a fancy word for wine lovers) everywhere.

We are certain you can find just the right wine to satisfy your Pinot Gris needs. Just stop by and see your favorite Market Street/United Wine Steward today and we will be happy to assist in making that selection.

While living in Europe for the last three years, there were many fine wines sold in boxes. Some were from Chile, Argentina, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand and US producers but I don't see the selection in Texas. Why don't we have a better selection in Texas of good wines in the box?

Having lived in Europe, you most likely realized how far behind the United States as a whole is behind in convenient, eco-friendly packages in many products, including fine wines. The primary reason, unfortunately, is the stigma attached to "box" wines here in the States.

The majority of the world sees wine as a daily staple, part of every evening meal. Thus, they are not as attached to the package it comes in as we in the US are. As wine consumption continues to grow across America, expect to see better and better wines making their way into eco-responsible, cost-friendly and convenient packaging such as boxed wines.

While we offer a broad selection here at United/Market Street, including wines from the US, Chile, Argentina, Spain, New Zealand and even Hungary, we do not have access to much larger selections found in other parts of the world. Some of the box wines found in our stores have even won gold medals in wine competitions or scored highly in national published magazines. So there are some real gems in the world of box wines here.

As part of our commitment to providing you, our guest, Ultimate Service, we will continue to add more fine boxed wines as we are able to find them.

What are tannins?

Wine tannins are a natural organic component found in grape skins, stems and seeds. These are termed “Fruit Tannins.” Tannins are also added to wines through the process of oak aging; logically, they are referred to as “Wood Tannins.” These are a natural preservative, a source of antioxidants and help give wines structure as well as added texture. Tannins are an important part of the wine experience. Wondering what tannins taste like? Think about when you have bitten into a fruit seed, especially grape or apple seeds, that woody taste is tannins. And let’s not forget that really strong cup of tea; loads of tannins are in there as well.

When making wines, winemakers can go two directions to deliver the fruit tannins to you. To limit tannins, they will gently crush the grapes, thereby not releasing a lot of the tannins. Conversely, if the crush is more deliberate and the unfermented grape juice spends more time in contact with the skins and such, more tannins will be present in the finished wine. Then the winery will decided to what extent it wants to add the wood tannins. Stronger tannins, more new barrels and longer aging … fewer tannins, used barrels and less time.

Still wondering if you know what tannins are? Ever had a glass of red wine and you felt like your lips were sticking to you teeth? Ever feel like the wine was making you pucker up a bit? Well, that is the tannins! Sometimes rough tannins may even cause a bitter aftertaste. Ever see sediment in your bottle or glass? Guess what? Part of that is tannins.

Wines with more tannins are meant to age and will improve over time as the tannins “soften” and integrate themselves into the wine, becoming less noticeable. Many of today’s winemakers have taken to imparting fewer tannins into their wines to make them more approachable at a younger age, usually ready to drink when they arrive on our shelves.

Oktoberfest - Did You Know?

Oktoberfest was not a festival at all. It was a public celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (namesake of the Theresienwiese festival grounds) on October 12, 1810. It was held on a large meadow outside the castle walls, So that everyone could take part in the festivities. The party featured a horse race, beer, food, music and dancing.

Oktoberfest Beer (Marzen)

The style is characterized by a medium to full body, a malty flavor and a clean dry finish. A Bavarian ordinance decreed in 1539 that beer could only be brewed between Saint Michael (September 29) and Saint George (April 23).

The beer was kept in caves where it was cold, for up to a month, then brought out in late summer months. Then all remaining bottles were brought out and consumed during Oktoberfest.

2010 marks the 200th year Oktoberfest has had Munich rocking. It is only the 177th festival. Oktoberfest has been canceled only 24 times, due to wars (4), cholera outbreaks (2) and hyperinflation (1, nobody could afford to go).

Come and check out our selection of Oktoberfest/Marzen beers. And celebrate.