Today Tuesday June 18, 2013, at 5pm Pacific Standard Time, join me and other wine lovers around the world in a toast of appreciation for the leadership in the wine industry of Robert Mondavi.
Known as the father of California wine, Mondavi influenced just about every wine you might find on your grocery store or cellar shelf so choose a Mondavi brand wine or not for your toast.
As the Mondavi brands Woodbridge and the Robert Mondavi name are now owned by Constellation, if you want a wine made by a Mondavi, try Divining Rod by Marc Mondavi, who is a certified water witch (read a review here).
Click on the second image for more details.
Note: A bottle of wine was shipped to me to participate in the toast and for review consideration; however, due to a shipping misfortune, I will not be able to participate using the sample wine until after 5pm. I will, however, be at the Ojai Vineyards tasting room toasting Mondavi with the wine at hand!
PS Coming up on Wine Predator: Friday is Lambrusco Day! And I have plenty more to say about my trip to Canada–specifically, a series of three posts about Tinhorn Creek in Oliver, BC!
Speed tasting wine at a Wine Bloggers’ Conference is not for the faint hearted. Continue reading
So being the Wine Predator that I am, I acquired numerous bottles of open and closed wine during and after the Wine Bloggers Conference that I either tasted before I left (nothing like a 3am taste and dump session to break your heart!) or I snaked across the border.
Somehow, I was blessed to bring home three bottles of Okanagan merlot (pictured). One bottle of these bottles that made it home open was Continue reading
For the first time, the Wine Bloggers Conference ended on Saturday night instead of Sunday (after announcing that 2014′s gathering will be in Santa Barbara which is practically in my backyard! So excited about that!!)
This left bloggers up to their own devices, and while many of them headed to flights from Kelowna or drives West to Vancouver or South and West toward Seattle and Portland, others stuck around for a day or two to learn more about wine in BC.
Personally, I knew I wanted to spend time at Tinhorn Creek. I’d met winemaker/CEO Sandra Oldfield in 2011 through Twitter where I also connected with her husband Kenn. I wanted to learn more about what it’s been like for her as a winemaker in this region for 20 years as well as about their sustainable practices–and about how she balances the demands of being a winemaker with being a mom.
But when I went on the excursion “Walk to Wine” where we trekked up a steep mountain and were greeted with a picnic with wine from the OK Falls winery association, and I tasted Painted Rock’s syrah and met owner John Skinner, I knew I had to somehow get there to hike to the painted rock, taste the wines, and learn more about his vision.
Luckily for me, John was willing to pick me up at the Lakeside Resort, home of this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference and my home for the previous three days.
It was a beautiful hike to see the Painted Rock: Continue reading
I am so excited! On the last night of the Wine Bloggers Conference, organizers announced that the next WBC will be held in my backyard July 11-13, 2014!
Well okay so Santa Barbara is not exactly in my backyard (although I already have people signing up to camp there) but practically!
In 2014, wine bloggers from around the world will gather in Buellton, in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, near Los Olivos and the Hitching Post of Sideways fame. That’s a little more than an hour drive from my house in Ventura.
Not only I am looking forward to finally (finally!) learning more about the wines growing in my ‘hood, but this time I am definitely getting more involved in every aspect that I can for the conference. Continue reading
The Wine Blog Awards have been given out at the Wine Bloggers Conference since the first conference in 2008, but when Mutineer Magazine took over presenting them…well the production values went up a notch–like all the way to 11. Once again tonight, Alan Kropf of Mutineer Magazine announced the winners of this year’s wine blog awards.
This included video and a trumpet call. I was talking with Alan about next year’s wine blog awards.
And we’re talking fire dancers, art cars, and more…
Best New Wine Blog went to Chasing the Vine by Lauren Mowery who I met on the pre-excursion trip from Seattle to Lake Chelan AVA and the rest of the way to Penticton. This is a newer category and it’s great to honor the newer bloggers, even if they are experienced writers and photojournalists like Lauren (who like me also attended the conference on a scholarship –thanks again scholarship committee!). Continue reading
So after a great adventure from Seattle via Lake Chelan that included a flight on a seaplane (where poor 1000 Corks got sick!) and lots of delicious wine (a blog post is brewing on that!), I made it to Penticton, British Columbia to the 6th annual Wine Bloggers Conference!
Because our bus was several hours late and delayed at the border for an hour, we missed the first event featuring the sponsors and so the conference proper kicked off for me last night at scenic See Ya Later Ranch high above the north end of Lake Chelan for the Constellations tasting of wines of Okanagan.
No, this isn’t my suitcase and I didn’t pack radishes! But isn’t this salad cute? The dirt was a ground nuts, herbs, and spices with a feta yoghurt dressing! Catered by Okanagan culinary darlings, Cam Smith and Dana Ewart from renowned Joy Road Catering, the food definitely celebrated local terroir.
As delish as that was, the highlight for me was a cab/syrah blend from Nk-Mip which was served with a lightly poached fresh wild BC salmon on a sorrel aoli with greens and sweet golden BEETS! I’d wax on or give you a link to the menu and the pairs if I could but today we have a full 12 hours schedule of wine activities, speakers and events. If you’d like to see the agenda, go here. Continue reading
After flying in on June 1 and a whirlwind weekend of 3:15 experiment poetry events in Seattle
, I’m writing a paper then moving full blast into wine blogging mode! On Tuesday, after a quick trip to Woodinville home of westside tasting rooms for wines grown on the east side of the Cascades, wine writing and blogging gals like Wine Julia, Wine Hooch, Travel Wine Chick, Wild Celtic Rose and I will gather on the rooftop patio of Janice Van Cleve, former President of the Wine Society of Seattle for wine and conversation. Then Wednesday, Wine Julia, Wine Hooch, Travel Wine Chick and I plus 100 or so fellow bloggers will board buses at SEA-Tac for a pre-conference excursion to the Lake Chelan Valley on way up to the Blogger’s Conference in Penticton.
On the bus, there will be box lunches and beverages for everyone from Blueacre Seafood in Seattle (http://www.blueacreseafood.com/) –I had such a hard time deciding between the WINDSOR COURT & DUNGENESS CRABMEAT SALAD (apple smoked bacon | tomato | avocado | red onions | bleu cheese| hard-boiled egg | lorenzo dressing) the HEART OF ROMAINE CAESAR SALAD (grilled draper valley farms chicken breast | charred lemon dressing | fennel croutons | parmesa) or the HEIRLOOM BEET SALAD (arugula | maytag bleu cheese | pickled onions | grain mustard vinaigrette. Hold the onions please!
It’s going to take us about three hours to drive over the Cascades to the Lake Chelan AVA but every minute on that bus will be worth it! (And fortunately, there are bathrooms on the bus! The last bus I took –from Seattle to WBC10 in Walla Walla–did not!)
Once there, we’ll enjoy a reception at Rio Vista Winery, a riverside winery with stunning gardens and sandy beach. There, we’ll have the option of a
select central coast wines
You’re invited to the Second Annual Central Coast Wine Day, Friday May 31, 2013!
#CCWineDay follows in the footsteps of various #VarietalDays that have been going on for a few years. These include Cabernet Day, Albarino Day, Tempranillo Day, Pinot Noir Day, Zinfandel Day, and even Wine Tourism Day! (As you can see, I enjoy participating in these varietal days!)
Personally, I say the Central Coast begins with Ventura County, Continue reading
Between preparing for my doctoral classes in ecopsychology and grading my students’ finals, I just had to go into hiding the past two weeks which meant while I participated in a few twitter tastings, I didn’t get any blogging done on this site and very little on my other sites (including Art Predator, Compassionate Rebel, Whisper Down The Write Alley). And yes. pictured with the Don and Sons Pinot Noir vertical from last Thursday’s twitter tasting are just a portion of the research papers and finals I was reading in order to get my grades in!
Even though I am still not completely done with my grading (and there’s another twitter tasting tonight!), today I was doing a little blogging on Art Predator and ended up checking my stats over here to discover that about midnight last night, my blog hit 50,000 page views! Which, for a wine blog like mine, is pretty good! (In contrast, my Art Predator blog, which I started in November 2007, is about to hit 500,000 page views and Compassionate Rebel which was born January 2010 is almost 10,000.) Continue reading
A toast to Mother’s! Cheers!
Pictured right to left, is my mom Suzanne Lawrence, my son, and my self from 2004. This was a publicity photo for a Living History Performance we did.
On Saturday, the last tuna boat of the year came in to the Ventura Harbor. We bought a whole tuna and celebrated Mother’s Day eve with fresh seared sesame oil ahi tuna on a bed of field greens with flower petals, blueberries, white Stilton with dried apricots, walnuts, plus a raw oyster! I love this meal with a silky Washington Merlot, but it also pairs well with a Pinot noir.
However since it was a festive occasion, we popped the cork on this beautiful Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rose, made from Pinot noir grapes.
Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rose is a perfect wine for Mother’s Day! Continue reading