A Toast to Women Wine Makers during Women’s History Month

iwd_squareAs 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

#MulledWine: you know you want it

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 to7chaisspices 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

Grateful for Exciting Sparkling Wine From Franciacorta Italy

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.1474638_10151785497985924_997366342_n

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!

7 Reasons Why I Love Grenache for Grenache Day!

I love grenache. I love it alone, and I love it blends. I love old vines, and new. I love grenache as an ice (seriously!) and as a rose.

Picture of Grenache noir grapes from a vineyar...

Picture of Grenache noir grapes from a vineyard in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why?

  • 1. Grenache has nice body, heft, weight.
  • 2. Grenache is supple and rich.
  • 3. Grenache has lots of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry fruit.
  • 4. Grenache can have a nice spicy kick to it!
  • 5. Grenache has a pretty rosey garnet color.
  • 6. Grenache goes great with pink and white meats like lamb, pork loin, salmon, but you can also enjoy it with a beef stew.
  • 7. Grenache blends well with other wines.

One of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties on the planet, grenache vines get better with age.

Today is a great day to celebrate all things grenache because Continue reading

Discover Loire Valley’s Touraine Sauvignon Blancs 9/17/13

BUZVm8uCUAA0AzLSauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite wines–it’s flexible, affordable, and a great wine with some of my favorite foods like oysters, chevre goat cheese and french bread, ceasar salad, and pesto with pasta. It’s my go to wine, my always in the fridge or on the shelf wine.

When in doubt, I get the sauvignon blanc out!

After participating in a number of industry tastings, I’m a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand-even the ones that feature a fair amount of gooseberry or cat pee.

Living in California, it’s easy to find locally grown Sauvignon Blanc; a favorite of mine is by Adam Tolmach for his winery, Ojai Vineyards. Continue reading

Join us tonight! Rieslings from the Finger Lakes 2012 Vintage Part 1

BUT7mYHIYAE7SPGSometimes when it rains it pours–wine that is!

Following Friday’s phenomenal Franciacorta tasting of six sparkling Italian wines, today it’s time to switch gears and open up five newly released Riesling from the Finger Lakes in NY, followed by Tuesday’s Touraine tasting of five different examples of Sauvignon Blanc form the Loire Valley.

Tonight’s tasting will be streamed live on USTREAM (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/finger-lakes-wine-virtual-tasting-series) where wine makers and winery reps will share their expertise and answer our previously submitted questions as well as respond to questions and comments on twitter using the hashtag #FLXWineVT. Continue reading

A Selection of Rodney Strong Wines: Symmetry, Sauv Blanc, Chard, Knotty Vines, Alexander’s Crown

2013-08-12 18.59.54One of our Wine Predator summer 2012 highlights was a twitter tasting that featured Rodney Strong wines. I’m guessing that this summer Rodney Strong wines will be a highlight as well!

Last summer, we tasted several Rodney Strong wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Knotty Vines Zinfandel, and Symmetry. Getting in the mood for Wednesday’s blending party with Rodney Strong wines at the Pierpont Inn, I opened their Chardonnay one night and their Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon on another night.

To Rodney Strong Vineyards, “place matters.”  One of the oldest wineries in Sonoma County, it was started by the charismatic and handsome Rodney Strong, a retired dancer. Family owned and carbon neutral, their certified sustainable practices start with the earth with soil and water conservation and reach toward the sky with solar power (one of the largest by any winery in the world!). They are also one of the rare businesses that are committed to the Triple Bottom Line of Planet, People and Profit, meaning they are not just concerned about making money but taking care of the planet and their employees through social equity.

Below are notes on each of these wines from Rodney Strong. And watch for an upcoming post with pictures and stories from our experiment in blending! Continue reading

“Blurred Vines” –new video parody from Jordan Winery

Do you remember Wine Country Gangnam Style?

Well the same folks at Jordan Winery who did that parody have a new one out for the summer “Blurred Vines” which asks the question: who gets the girl–the  wine geek or the wine dude?  “Geeks obsess over wine lists, wine scores and winemaking techniques. Dudes love their wine but don’t take it too seriously.” So who gets the girl? Watch “Blurred Vines” to find out. #blurredvines  (PS You can see my Gangnam Style parody “Chile Style” here!)

Here’s the original Robin Thicke video “Blurred Lines.” Here’s another fabulous parody of it by Mod Carousel, a Seattle based boylesque troupe. And this “Blurred Lines” parody with Jimmy Kimmel is hilarious.

Thanks to Jordan’s Lisa Mattson for showing us how to have fun with wine! And congrats to Jordan for being willing to take risks like this! Hmmn, I really should have been drinking and reviewing a Jordan wine while I posted this! Next time!

And remember that August 14 is the return of Wine Blogging Wednesday! Dry rose!

Getting Around: Fun Wine Map of California

MetroMapCADon’t you just love this wine map of California by DeLongWine.Com? This is one in a series of Wine Maps with these regions available currently:

They’re $25 unframed or $100 framed; I think they should turn them into boxed note cards or postcards! In fact, I’m going to suggest to them to do postcards of California for the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2014 in Santa Barbara for the gift bags.

They also offer a number of  free resources including Wine Tasting Note Forms.

This map is part of a series of fun posts using infographics, tables, charts, and maps. Here’s an infographic about the evolution of PR. Coming up: a pie chart about how to pair wine and cheese, and an inforgraphic about reisling. And then I hope to have my series of posts about Tinhorn Creek in BC ready to post!

Check out an infographic about ME here!

Today’s #LambruscoDay: Time for Summer’s Fizzy Fun Red Wine!

Will Lambrusco, that delightful bubbly red wine from Italy, be the next Prosecco, that delightful white bubbly wine from Italy that took the US by storm nearly 10 years ago?

Kitten Likes LambruscoWe’ll see!

In the meantime, the perfect time to check out Lambrusco is today Friday June 21, 2013–the first day of summer and Lambrusco Day!

I was sent a sample of the IL Mionetto Lambrusco so Annie and I opened it up yesterday in anticipation of Lambrusco Day. Annie said,

“This is a lot of fun for 10 Bucks!”

And I agree! Continue reading

Speed Tasting at WBC13 Part 1: White Wines

Speed tasting wine at a Wine Bloggers’ Conference is not for the faint hearted. Continue reading

Painted Rock & Poplar Grove Merlots from the Okanagan, British Columbia

kittenOKmerlotflowers1So 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