SoCal Ideas for Wine Tourism Day, Sat. May 11 2013

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This Saturday, May 11 is Wine Tourism Day, a day to celebrate North America’s wine tourism industry and all those who enjoy the experience of visiting wine country.

According to organizers, “Local wine industry folks in their respective regions — including wineries, hotels, restaurants, and other wine-related businesses — have created special events for people who love anything to do with wine, food, events, travel and fun!”

Events can be anything from wine pairing dinners to music events to structured tastings. Search for an event near you or register for the Great Wine Tour Giveaway.

Or create your own event! You don’t have to visit Napa–head out on Saturday to a winery near you and celebrate! You may be surprised by what you’ll find in a few hours drive. Please post in the comments and tell us which wineries are YOUR favorites to visit?

Read on for Wine Predator’s picks of places to prowl! Continue reading

Rafters, Mammoth CA: Steven Kent Tasting–Lola & Dutton Chardonnay

Last month, after a bluebird afternoon on the slopes at Mammoth Mountain, I participated in a fantastic Twitter Wine tasting featuring Steven Kent Wines hosted by The Rafters Restaurant at the Sierra Nevada Resort 202 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA. Established in 1967; Rafters was recently reborn as a world class restaurant with a 7000 bottle wine list!

Sommelier Chip Irmish had glasses ready and the wines chilled perfectly for me when I dashed back after a few quick turns on the slopes. Continue reading

Celebrate NZ Harvest & CA spring! Villa Maria Thirsty Girl Tasting Weds!

It’s Harvest Time in New Zealand and Spring Time in California! Celebrate both with the first Thirsty Girl #TGTaste Twitter Tasting of 2013 set for Wednesday March 27 at 5 pm PST  (8 pm EST). You’re invited! Continue reading

Not your average pony: 6 Don & Sons Appellation Driven Wines

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BEFORE

Yesterday, 20 other wine bloggers and I cracked open six tiny bottles of Don Sebastiani & Sons Appellation Brands wines during a Virtual (Twitter) Tasting hosted by winemaker Greg Kitchens and Donny Sebastiani on a live video and audio stream from Sonoma, California.

I know Appellation isn’t a type of HORSE or pony, not even a Shetland Pony like these cute little 50ml bottles Don and Sons sent us.

Appellation is the terroir–where the grapes were grown. In this case, for this tasting, we traveled all over California: from Sonoma to Napa to Paso to Clarksburg.

So we could really get a sense of the various appellations, Don and Sons sent 20 of us bloggers a collection six 50ml bottles from TastingRoom.Com instead of only 3 or 4 full-sized ones. Continue reading

Don & Sons Uses TastingRoom.Com’s Cute Tiny Bottles for Twitter Tasting

This afternoon, Friday November 30, 2012 from 4:00 - 5:30 (Pacific Standard Time or from 7:00 – 8:30 Eastern Standard Time), you’re invited to join me and 20 other wine bloggers for a Don Sebastiani & Sons Appellation Brands Virtual (Twitter) Tasting hosted by winemaker Greg Kitchens and Donny Sebastiani. Continue reading

Be Tempted by Tempranillo on International Tempranillo Day 11/8

Are you tempted by Tempranillo? I am! And I’m not the only one! In fact, more people would be tempted by tempranillo if they tried it.

Today, November 8, is International Tempranillo Day–the perfect day to give Tempranillo a try! As Tempranillo is the fourth most planted wine grape planted in the world, with most of it grown in Spain, it’s easy to celebrate Tempranillo Day by simply opening and enjoying one.

One of my favorite wines from 2011 was a Tempranillo from Continue reading

Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills: 2010 Chard, Cab, Merlot Blend

On Wednesday, Oct. 10,  Que Syrah Sue and I participated in the Thirsty Girl Twitter Tasting of three wines from Columbia Crest’s Horse Heaven Hills: their 2012 Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a predominately merlot red blend. We thought all three were decent values at around $10; our favorites are the merlot blend, followed by the chardonnnay, and trailing in third is the cabernet. Continue reading

How We Roll in “Wine Country”: New Video Gets Your Swirl On

 

Don’t try to drink wine while you watch this–you might find yourself missing the spit bucket!

Featuring the Bay Area’s Moe Green, Cameron Washington, and Jairo “Rojah” Vargas of Bayonics, lyrics include lines like these:

“Just one thing missing from this blessed day
a motherf—ing magnum of cuvee chardonnay”

  • “You brag about Mohammed, Buddha and Jesus to worship
    but Thomas Keller’s our god so back the f— up”
  • “Just because we like vino
    Don’t make us shallow
    Ask my n—-s
    Ernest and Julio Gallo.”

“It’s a 100 degrees
but I still wear my beanie.”

Thanks for the shout out to my home vineyards in the 805, yo! (More at the 3 mark).

Like their Facebook page.  Visit: http://www.russianhillprojects.com/

PS There are a few offensive words on this video.
So don’t watch it if you don’t want to hear “that kind” of language. Word. Out.

 

SICILY! And more EXPLOSIVE excitement September 19!

Using spittoon at a wine tasting Français : dé...

Using spittoon at a wine tasting Français : dégustation d’un vin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 19, 2012 I will definitely be doing wine related activities. And lots of wine tasting. And yes, a lot of spitting too.

First, I was invited to join the September 19 Thirsty Girl Twitter Tasting of Handcraft Wines. Then I was invited to join the next Cafe 140 Twitter Tasting. Then I received an invitation to an industry tasting of the San Francisco International Wine Competition award-winning wines. All on the same day.

Fortunately, September 19 is a day that I can devote to wine tasting.

Then, on Wednesday morning, as I was preparing to run some errands and then post about #CabernetDay and #PinotSmackdown, I checked my email and saw one from Elisabetta Tosi, a wine blogger and the Italian Ambassador to Palate Press.

She was writing to invite me to join a wine blogging tour of the Mt Etna wine region in Sicily. In two weeks. September 19-23.

Organized by Consorzio Tutela Vini Etna D.O.C., in collaboration with Fermenti Digitali and with support of Camera di Commercio di Catania, this is a tour for wine bloggers organized by wine bloggers. How cool but…no way! I had to teach, I had to write papers for grad school, who would get my kid to school…and how could I get a flight at this last-minute that would fit their budget? So I headed off on my errands.

And then it hit me–ITALY! WINE! VOLCANO! YES YES YES YES YES! Of course, YES! What in the world was I thinking? Of course I could make it work in order to go to Sicily and learn about and taste wines grown on the side of THE MOST ACTIVE VOLCANO in the WORLD!

I did a bunch of research. And that made me want to go even more to taste these wines that are getting a lot of attention! And I figured out how to put all the pieces together–except the flight part. There were no flights available for 500 euros. It was going to take 1000 euros to get this California girl onto Sicilian soil.

The bad news is, this September 19 I’m not going to be tasting and writing about wines grown on Mt Etna.

The good news is, they plan to invite me on the next trip planned for spring or possible fall 2013. Which will give me more time to prepare for the trip. And I’ll be home in California September 19 tasting and tweeting away.

You’re invited to join in the fun: you can subscribe and read about my adventures in wine and you can pick up the wines we’ll be tasting. Continue reading

2 Wine Events: Support VCCool, then taste & buy wines for yourself!

Two great wine events tonight December 10  on the West end of Main Street, Ventura: a wine tasting to celebrate  VCCool’s new 501c3 status from 6-7pm at J’s Tapas 204 E. Main and a wine tasting and buy extravaganza from 6:30-9pm at Jonathan’s at Peirano’s. The food is fabulous, the atmosphere cozy, and both are conveniently located right next to each other and across from the San Buenaventura Mission in downtown.

First up: As the eyes of the World turn towards Copenhagen, Denmark and how our Global Community will address Climate Change, VCCool invites you to share an evening with us here at home. As a non-profit in Ventura that specifically addresses the issue at a local level, VCCool needs your support.

Join in conversation about building a sustainable future together during a lovely evening of wine, food, and friendship. This gathering is a free event with the purpose of raising funds, and nurturing friends and supporters as VCCool celebrates acheiving its 501c3 non-profit status as well as an amazing history of local action. The event also offers a sneak-preview of some exciting plans for 2010 as well. Bring your checkbook and make a powerful stand for climate protection by supporting a  local organization that is working hard on  climate action almost every day of the year.

Climate change is a serious problem for many existing wine regions of the world. As the climate changes, so do the growing conditions in the vineyards. Some areas will no longer be able to grow wine while other regions will. This is such a serious problem that many wine advocacy and educational organizations such as Wine Academy of Spain are putting resources into tracking it. WSA recent Wine Futures event in Rioja (which I had to pass up, unfortunately) offered sessions to discuss the problem.

Next: Get amazing wines at amazing wholesale prices, at the Annual Taste and Buy Event, Thursday December 10th 6:30-9pm at Jonathan’s. Taste over 30 wines from many of the best regions for only $10. RSVP today by calling 805-648-4853!

If you come by, be sure to say hi–I’ll be the one passing out Santacon Ride flyers (12/20 at 12:30pm) and Tweed Ride flyers (2/5 at 5:30pm). If it’s not raining, this bikergo gal will ride there to cut down on carbon emissions and because it’s fun! Then you’ll be able to check out my pink bikergo locked up outside. Ask me and I’ll let you take it out for a spin! Remember, don’t drink and drive–even a bike!