Hugh Sisson | WYPR

Hugh Sisson

Host, Cellar Notes

As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill.  A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.

In the mid-eighties, Hugh Sisson saw the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore, an historically "big beer" town. After researching the industry at its heart - in Germany, England, and the U.S. west coast - Hugh, with the help of Senator George W. Della, Jr., successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland.

After the inception of craft brew in Baltimore, Hugh immersed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's and its beers.  He is a member of the Master Brewers Association of America, the Institute for Fermentation and Brewing Studies, and sits on the Executive Committee for the Brewers Association of Maryland.  He has served as President of the Cross Street Irregulars Home Brew Club and along with Al Spoler, he has been co-hosting Cellar Notes since 1992.

Alsace Overview

May 24, 2017
http://www.zindhumbrecht.fr

Al and Hugh give their picks for wines from the Alsace region in France. If you want some dessert to pair with these wines, Radio Kitchen has a great recipe for Maryland strawberry shortcake. Click on the picture for the wine list. 

Al and Hugh share their picks for chardonnay wines with affordable price points. Click on the photo for the list. 

Fancy some food with your wine? Check out the latest episode of Radio Kitchen

Al and Hugh give some additional picks for South African wines. Click on the photo for the list of recommendations. 

wine-searcher.com

Boschendal, "The Rose Garden" Rosé, Coastal Region '16

Bright berry aromas, with spice notes, off-dry.

★★

Price Range: less than $20

Simonsig Chenin Blanc '14

Incredible VALUE in very good chenin blanc, dirt cheap.

★★★

Price Range: less than $20

Fleur du Cap Merlot, Stellenbosch '08

OUTSTANDING VALUE in very well made merlot, dirt cheap.

★★★

Price Range: less than $20

Fleur du Cap Pinotage, Stellenbosch,  '14

Light Reds

Apr 26, 2017

Enjoy your transition into Spring with some light red wines. Listen in as Al suggests some classy wines.

Bonny Doon

Apr 19, 2017

Al and Hugh gives their picks from Bonny Doon, a California winery. Click on the picture for recommendations.

Anyone can pop the cork on a Napa cab or a white burgundy.  But there are a lot of pleasures to be had if you allow yourself to stray off the beaten path.  Al has a few suggestions to help you get pleasantly lost.

Click on the picture for the full wine list. 

First Whites of Spring

Mar 29, 2017

The daffodils are in bloom, there's bird song in the air, and the first crisp fresh white wines of spring are just begging to be tasted. Al has a set of wines that are perfect for the season.

Click here for the full list. 

As spring draws near it's time to break out the pinot noirs, the perfect red wine for a transitional season.  Hugh reviews new releases from one of his favorite California wineries.

Click here for the full list. 

Spanish Preview

Mar 15, 2017
David McSpadden/flickr

Al will be going to Spain later this spring, and he is boning up on some of the lesser known regions. For this week's program he is looking at Alicante, Jumilla, Bierzo, and Calatayud.

Click here for the complete wine list.

Yalumba

Mar 8, 2017
yalumba.com

Yalumba is one of Australia's best known wineries.  Long known for their famous Yalumba Pipe Port, their portfolio also includes a strong lineup of tables wines.

Click here for the complete wine list.

Cameron Kennedy/flickr

With winter lingering we still need to have something warm, cozy and red to snuggle up with.  Hugh has a selection of red wines that fit the bill.

Click here for the complete wine list.

Languedoc-Roussillon is a major wine region in southern France. Al and Hugh give their picks for some good rustic wines from this area.

Cameron Kennedy/flickr

Hugh and Al share their picks for some great wines to quench your thirst this winter.

Antonio Cinotti/flickr

This week Hugh and Al give a nod to some wines from northern Italy.

momo/flickr

Hugh and Al on their new favorites from Sardinia and Sicily.

renateca/flickr

It's time to break out the bubbly! Al and Hugh give their picks for what you should be sipping on as you ring in the new year.

The Gift of Wine

Dec 21, 2016
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Al and Hugh's picks for the best wines to give.

horrapics/flickr

Cellar Notes brings you a range of rioja wines.  

jenny downing

Part II of Cellar Notes' rundown on the best Italian wines.   

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60 Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite November 30   Italian Whites I  (Lanterna Distributors) Illuminati Costulpo Trebbiano d'Abruzzo '15  *1/2  $(Dry, subtle, mild and fresh)Illuminati Pecorino Colli Aprunti '14  **  $(Wonderful elegant, floral wine with peachy notes)Tenute Guicciardini Strozzi Vernacia de San Gimignano '15  *  $(Idiosyncratic, perhaps not everyone's cup of tea)Lunae Pigato Terreferme '15  **1/2  $(Fabulous wine, floral, gingery, bright and assertive) Many

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite  

Helfrich Gewurtztraminer, Alsace '13  ** $

(At $15, this is a real VALUE, classic T'giving wine)

Chat. de la Chaize Brouilly (Beaujolais) Vielle Vignes '12  **1/2  $$

(A cru Beaujolais, mature and ready to enjoy)

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages '15 ** $

(A classic producer smooth and easy drinking Beaujolais)

Cotes du Rhone

Nov 16, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Alan Jaune Cotes du Rhone Villages "Les Travées" '13 **1/2 $

(From Cairanne, this is a silky refined CDRV with spicy fruit, great flavor)

Dom. Paul Autard Cotes du Rhone '14 ** $

(Polished, elegant, with berry and field herb flavors)

Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Villages '13 ** $

(Great price for a refined CDRV, lovely café wine. VALUE)

Dom. del la Jannasse Réserve Cotes du Rhone '13  **1/2 $

(A touch rustic, a little wild and rugged, great VALUE)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits  

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Giuseppe Lonardi Valpolicella Classico Superioire Ripasso '15 **1/2 $$

(Terrific, bright, tart, dried fruit flavors)

La Quercia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ** $

(Well-rounded Italian red, with direct fruit flavors)

Edi Simcic Duet (red blend) Slovenia '13 *** $$   

(Fabulous Bordeaux blend from an unusual source)

Edi Simcic Chardonnay Riserva, Slovenia '13 ** $$

(A fleshy, fully mature chardonnay from Slovenia)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.

Italian Whites

Nov 2, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Broglio Gavi "La Meircena" '15  **1/2  $$

(This wine could have been poured at an Italian feast, like in a painting)

Terradora DiPaolo Falanghina, Irpinia '13 **1/2 $ 

(Totally refreshing,, food-friendly, calls out for seafood, delicious, VALUE)

Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina del Sannio '14 *1/2  $

(From a  weaker vintage, but still a lean, flavorful wine)

Enoteria Arneis, Mendocino '13  **1/2 $

(California copy of Italian grape Arneis, very impressive and a VALUE)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite  

Michael David of Lodi

(Look for the wacky lables)

Michael David  Chardonnay, Lodi '15 *1/2 $

(Decent value in California chardonnay)

Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi '13 ** $$

(Big fruity cab, bold and well-mannered)

Michael David Petite Petit (Petite Syrah) Lodi '14

(Big, smooth, well rounded, lots of fun)

Michael David Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi '13 ** 1/2  $$

(Concentrated, explosive, complex)

Michael David Earthquake Zinfandel, Lodi '13 **1/2  $$

(Powerful flavor-packed zin, loaded with fruit, powerful)

Michael David Lust Zinfandel, Lodi, '12 *** $$$

(Expensive, but worth it, rich and deep and very complex)

Michael David Inkblot Cabernet Franc, Lodi *** $$

(A whopping wine that will deeply empress)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Boordy Vineyards wins the 2016 Maryland Governor's Cup with its 2015 Albariño from its South Mountain vineyard.

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits  

Alexander Valley

Oct 13, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, '14  ** $

(A good buy in Russian River chard, lightly oaked.)

Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley '13 **1/2 $$

(Top wine of the three zins, a big mouth-filling complex wine.)

Alexander Valley Vineyards Temptation Zinfandel '12 **  $

(Medium bodied, juicy everyday zin. VALUE)

Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin '13** $

(Dark, inky zin with rich dark fruit flavors in a well-structured wine.)

Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir '14 ** $$

(Russian River fruit goes into a full-flavored pinot with silky texture.)

Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Syrah '14 **1/2 $

(Lovely California syrah with aromatic nose, rich dark fruit flavors.)

Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon '14  *** $$

(Possibly the best value in California Cab.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits

Garnacha/Grenache

Oct 5, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite  

Espelt Old Vines Garnacha, D.O. Emporda '12 *** $

(Wild and eccentric and totally delicious SUPER VALUE!)

Domaine de Cristia Grenache, VDP Mediteranné '12 ** $

(Classic grenache character in a medium bodied format, very nice.)

Castillo de Fundejalon Garnacha Crianza, Campo do Borjo '09 * 1/2

(Nice, but too much tempranillo tampers with the flavor.)

Alto Cinco Garnacha, Cariñena '14 ** $

(VALUE in a big fruity quality every day wine.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.

Viognier

Sep 21, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite                                                               

Boordy Vineyards Viognier, South Mountain '15 *** $$

(Made in the style of Condrieu, high quality)

Spann Viognier, Alexander Valley '14 ** $

(Leaner than most California viognier, but has plenty of fruit.)

D'Arenberg "The Hermit Crab"  Viognier/Marsanne, McLaren Vale '13 **1/2 $

(A very astute blend of two Rhone varietals, quite polished.)

Domaine Haut de Mourier Viognier, Cuvée Stephane Bouix '15  ** $

(Wonderful floral nose, austere but flavorful, well made VALUE.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.  

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