Fine Wine to Table Wine…..Visit Jungle Jim’s Wine Cellar

Walking through the cultivated vineyards of Jungle Jim’s Wine Cellar, I’m excited to learn about the various species of grapes.   David Schmerr is the Wine and Beer Director of twenty-one years at Jungle Jim’s. He proudly talks about a couple of his prize Bordeaux collector wines: Opus One by Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe; and Dominus Chateau Petrus by Christain Moueix and his team.  The history lessons on both of these winemakers is brief and intriguing.  Mr Schmerr explains how these great Connoisseurs arrived to the balance of tannins that gives the proper acid level to a glass of wine, which are derived from working with diverse fruits of the vine.

The conversation changes to the many different “Table Wines” sold at this international market.  In fact, to expedite shopping, Jungle Jim’s makes it easy to locate wines under $10. and $20. by placing them at the end of the wine racks.  A few of these wines include: Bon Anno Cabernet, an American wine from Napa Valley ($19.99); and Spanish wines, Nora, white wine ($15.) and Codice a red wine ($9.99).

David gives bragging rights to BonAnno (distributed out of Dayton, OH by the BonAnno Family), stating that,  “Bon Anno has won two Cabernet wine tastings located at Jungle Jim’s, beating out some other wines that are at the higher price points of $30-$40 wines”.  He points out, “Bon Anno is ready to drink fifteen minutes after uncorking the bottle, and you can experience the ripeness of the fruit, without the residual after taste”. 

New to consumers this year will be the introduction a Spanish wines. Spain is challenging the most popluar Cabernet’s grown and produced in California, as well as, overtaking Shiraz from Australia. “Nora” is a dry white wine from the “Albarino” grape.  This green-gold color wine tastes of honeysuckle and peach; it’s a great compliment to seafood dishes. While, Codice “is made of 100% Tempranillo grapes from old vines planted at 2,700 feet elevation on calcareous clay, a soil type common to Bordeaux”. The red ruby colors and round tannins of spanish wine “Codice”, provide a good acidic level and are compared to the $20. bottles from the vineyards of California and France.  

The wine that compliments all foods whether it’s: appetizers, seafood, meat or poultry is still Pinot Noir.  Mr. Schmerr explains, “the lighter tannins found in Pinot Noir (giving also a nod to Chianti) is great at the grill, or an evening of “surf and turf” style dinner”.  “Additionally,” he states, “Pinot Noir is the wine that I recommend for those with heart disease to drink with their meals.”  This is because Pinot Noir is high in the non-flavonoid “resveratrol” that increases HDL cholesterol levels (healthy).

New to Jungle Jim’s wine department are Organic Wines.  The Organic Wines are low to no sulfites. This is good news for those who have who have abstained from wine due to egg/fish/milk/nut allergies.  According to the Australian Wine Research Institute, “Wine may be ‘fined’ with processing aids, which are derived from eggs, fish, milk or nuts. The process of fining removes protein and other impurities from the wine, which may otherwise make the wine unstable. If the wine is made according to good manufacturing practice, there should be only traces of these processing aids left in the wine.”

Mr Schmerr has many reasons to enjoy the future prospects of his career in the Beer and Wine Industry leaving us with a closing thought. “Cincinnati has seen a sharp increase in “wine sippers” not unlike the rest of the United States.  Statistics show that the USA will lead the world in wine consumption per gallonage (not per capita) by the year 2010. ”  And with that I offer a “Toast to good health and much success.”

Recommended Wines

  1. Morbier Cheese                    Reuilly White Wine $9.99
  2. Strawberries and Peaches     Richter Reisling Piesporter Michelsberg $9.99
  3. Nuts: Walnuts Port and Almonds Sherry
  4. Dessert, Chocolate:  Brut Champagne.  Other desserts: Port or Sherry

Gift Giving      

  1. Bon Anno red $19.99
  2. Nora white $15.00
  3. Codice red $9.99                                                                       



Organic Wines

  1. Ceago
  2. Freywine
  3. BonTerra

By: Kim Crocker-Scardicchio

For More Info on Jungle Jim’s Wine and Beer Dept. Visit the following link: 

National Organic Wine List: