Today is the “International Day of Happiness” which in and of itself is worth getting happy about! Read more about the “International Day of Happiness” here.
And watch this fabulously fun and happy video of wine country Porto uploaded and featuring our wine friends from Catavino, Gabriella and Ryan Opaz plus their baby Mica!
Today is also the first day of SPRING here on the northern hemisphere. On a recent drive up the coast through Santa Barbara County wine country, the vines were busy with bud break, a sure sign of spring.
Coming soon: blog posts about four stops on that trip, dinner at Gardens of Avila, wine and cycling at Peloton Cellars in Avila, tasting (and shucking oysters!) at Casa Dumetz, and beer tasting in Los Alamos with Emilio Estevez. Plus, before Women’s History month is out, posts about women winemakers!
And in the southern hemisphere, today is the first day of FALL and so harvest is in full swing.
And as if that wasn’t enough to be happy about, I’m also celebrating being “Blogger of the Week” published today by the San Jose Mercury Times! Read the article by Jessica Yadegaran here.
Do I look happy? Cheers!
As March is Women’s History Month, and Saturday March 8 is International Women’s Day, what better time to focus on women winemakers than now?
That’s the idea of the tweet-up on the first Wednesday evening of March–to taste and tweet about wines made by women March 5, 2014. We’re going to get started at 5pm Pacific Standard Time.
All you need to to do Continue reading
Every third Friday in February, 800 or so Petite Sirah enthusiasts gather at Rockwall Winery in Alameda CA to sing the praises of Petite Sirah at the always sold out in advance PS I Love You event, Dark and Delicious which features 50 some dark Petite Sirahs paired with 25 or more delicious dishes. Tickets are $65–and if you want one, you better buy it immediately!
Since Que Syrah Sue and I can not make it up north for the festivities, we decided to have our own Dark and Delicious evening at my house in Ventura. We each brought one of our favorite Ventura County winery Petite Sirahs to the table along with various cheeses and other bites.
My contribution was the Continue reading
January’s Full Moon ushered in a month of celebrations for the Chinese Year of the Horse which closes with the full moon over Valentine’s Weekend.
One of the ways I’m recognizing the Year of the Horse is toasting the new year and the full moon with this bottle of Scosso from Four Brix, a winery based in my hometown of Ventura and which sources fruit from throughout the state.
Scosso has a very festive ruby pink color–perfect for Valentine’s Day! Made from central coast grown grapes of 63% Sangiovese from the McGourty Vineyards in the Adelaida region in Westside Paso Robles, plus 31% Cabernet sauvignon, and 6% merlot, the 2009 blend offers spice and blackberry, structure and tannins without being overwhelming meaning. Continue reading
The right Pinot Noir can indeed pair with dishes as diverse as pork, fish, and fowl. Continue reading
As a follow-up to bubbles off the beaten path: What would you do if you came across this bottle of Champagne?
Would you buy a bottle of bubbles with the foil like this, the cage open, the cork escaping?
What if you could get this Champagne for $35 when the regular price is $80?
What if your birthday was coming up? And you wanted some nice bubbles to celebrate your birthday?
This is what happened to me: I was snooping around Continue reading
What do these bottles have in common? Continue reading
“I hear you hate California wine.”
That’s the first line in Jon Bonné’s new book, The New California Wine which showed up on my doorstep a few days ago. Since then I’ve discovered for myself why my wine blogging friends have been raving about it–it really is a great book. In fact, it’s all I can do NOT to drop everything and keep reading it!
I mean, don’t you want to know what comes after that first line?
As a nationally recognized wine authority and the wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonne certainly knows his wine. But it is his historical narratives and personal anecdotes that caught my imagination right away and seduced me into reading far longer than I had planned to–it’s finals, and I have huge piles of research papers to grade. But when I came down with that bug that’s going around, I had a chance to spend a little more time with his book to discover that he offers a seriously comprehensive overview–over 600 wines from long time producers and favorites like Ridge and Ojai Vineyards to the positively youthful Donkey and Goat from the Brandts, and from larger vintners that you can find in a grocery store to tiny ones like William Allen’s Two Shepherds– to guide readers in understanding what’s going on today in California viticulture. Continue reading
Back in the early 80s, when I was barely legal and going to Foothill community college, I worked at Ridge Winery in the tasting room up on Montebello Road.
For those of you who remember, you are probably laughing because there was no “tasting room” at Ridge –there was only a tasting table outside, a simple picnic table where we had five wines, usually four zins and a claret, lined up along with a basket of fresh bread (from “City of Paris” as I recall); you went inside the cellar where Kathy poured other offerings and helped you make your purchases.
We were having a Christmas party or some sort of potluck as I recall and it was quite cold. I was a newlywed with a Crockpot and as I was going to be at the tasting room all day, I suggested I make mulled wine. After all, there was always plenty of leftover wine lying around that I never got around to drinking during the week so why not pour all those together and mull them?
You can only imagine the look of horror at my suggestion–mull a Ridge wine? Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, Beginner's Guide, Great Wines under $20, how to
Tagged Alfred Peet, Christmas, how to make mulled wine, Ketel One, Mulled wine, Octavin, Red wine, Ridge Vineyards, Ridge Winery, Robin Thicke, what wine do you use for mulled wine, wine
Today is the second Franciacorta twitter tasting that I’ve had the opportunity to participate in, thanks to Balzac Communications.
Before September, I don’t think I’d ever tasted this sparkling wine from Italy that rivals Champagne in quality, but is much lesser known. You’d be amazed at the quality that you can get for the money–I know I was!
Tune in to twitter #Franciacorta to see what we think about today’s line-up. Post to follow soon with more tasting notes.
I’m also planning on spending some time with that massive map they sent to learn more about this region that I hope to visit one day soon!
PS And no, I am NOT going to let my son saber the bottles with his new Minecraft sword because Rusty Ginger fought him off!
Posted in adventures in wine, European WIne, Italian Wine
Tagged Balzac Communications, Champagne, Franciacorta, Gwendolyn Alley, Italian wine, Italy, Minecraft, sparkling wine, Twitter, wine
What’s my favorite wine for Thanksgiving? ZINFANDEL! It’s magical with turkey and ham, and it can stand up to all those crazy rich side dishes.
So what better time to celebrate zinfandel day but in November as we’re preparing for Thanksgiving and figuring out the wines we want to enjoy on this special day?
Today I’m heading over to Cantara Cellars in Camarillo CA where we will taste zinfandel from the Lodi region as well as other wines from Lodi that you might want to consider sharing with your friends and family on Thanksgiving, or other special occasions. We’ll be posting pictures and tasting notes with the hashtag #lodiwine if you want to follow along.
These are the wines that were sent to me as samples for the twitter tasting that we will be opening today from 5-6pm:
2010 Harney Lane Winery Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel $35