At the last three wine bloggers conferences, I lucked out both with amazing pre-conference excursions and great conference expeditions as well. In 2010, a small group of us traveled on a press trip Seattle to Walla Walla and back, tasting along the way. In 2012, on our pre-conference excursion we dined at King Estates then learned about pinot noir with Robin Pffeifer, then went by TRAIN from Eugene to Portland where I was on the infamous #cuffedincarlton bus.
In 2013, I joined the Seattle to Lake Okanagan trip by way of the Lake Chelan AVA and went on the OK Falls hike where I discovered Painted Rock which I wrote about here also. When the announcement that Wine Blogging Wednesday #80 was Dry Rose, I didn’t have to think too hard about which wine I wanted to write about: “My Derby Wife” rose Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, review, travel and wine, Wine Bloggers Conference, Wine Blogging Wednesday, wine review, wine travel
Tagged angela jacobs, krysztof nemeth, lake chelan, Lake Chelan AVA, My Derby Wife syrah rose 2012, Washington rose
One 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
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
Like the minerality and acidity of Riesling, the body and white stone fruits of Viognier, and the floral notes of Pinot Gris?
Then you should check out Albarino–and there’s no better day than today, the Second Annual Albariño Day, Thursday, May 9th, 2013!
The second annual Albarino Day caught me by surprise but fortunately, I have a few bottles of Albarino from Paco & Lola around. I saw it on sale and I went for it because it is such a wonderful wine with lots of bright acidity with tangerine and lime and that’s seafood friendly–especially with my beloved fresh raw oysters from Jolly Oyster at the Ventura State Beach!
Plus just a few days ago I picked up two bottles of Old Creek Ranch Winery’s Albarino de Moto (regularly $22) at my son’s school fundraising silent auction! (Old Creek Ranch Winery is a my local pick for Wine Tourism Day; read more about it here).
Unfamiliar with Albarino? Probably because most of this dark green, thick-skinned grape is grown in Spain, with very little of it found in the US. Albariño accounts for 90% of plantings in the Rías Baixas region of Spain. But as it grows in popularity, expect to find more of it here!
Want to join in celebrating Alabarino? Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, European WIne, Great Wines under $20, review, wine review
Tagged Albarino, Albarino Day, Old Creek Ranch Winery, Paco & Lola, raw oysters, Rias Baixas, wine tourism
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
Posted in adventures in wine, review, wine events, Wine News, wine review, wine travel
Tagged bridlewood, Cantara Cellars, Four Birx, Old Creek Ranch Winery, Vino V, wine tasting, wine tourism
In part one in this series of posts, I review two white wines from Steven Kent Wines, the luscious LaRochelle Chardonnay (pictured) and the lively Lola, a Bordeaux blend, and I wax enthusiastic about Rafters Restaurant, which is one of three restaurants and four bars at the Sierra Nevada Resort in Mammoth Lakes CA.
We were up in Mammoth for a holiday weekend ski trip where I also had a twitter tasting with Steven Kent Wines and Jim Demetriades, owner of Rafters hosted me! And what a gracious host! I was able to use a beautiful side room for the tasting, sommelier Chip Irmish set me up with the correct glasses I’d need as well as a dump bucket, and an ice bucket. Staff brought water, and either Chef Kerry Mechler or various staff brought out the six dishes that chef had chosen to pair with the six wines.
Here in Part 2, I’ll move from the whites on to the Pinot Noirs, one from Carneros and one from Santa Lucia Highlands, near Monterey. (Want to read about the Lola and the Dutton Chard?)
Posted in adventures in wine, review, road trip, travel and wine, wine review, wine travel
Tagged Donum Estate, LaRochelle, Lola, Mammoth Lakes California, pinot noir, Pork belly, rafters restaurant, Sierra Nevada Lodge
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
Posted in adventures in wine, review, Social Media & WIne, wine review, wine travel
Tagged food, james demetriades, Livermore Valley, Mammoth Mountain, pinot noir, rafters restaurant, restaurants, sauvignon blanc, Sierra Nevada, sierra nevada resort, Steven Kent, Twitter, wine, wine tasting
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
Posted in adventures in wine, Great Wines under $20, New Zealand Wine, review, white & green, wine events, wine review
Tagged Auckland, food, leslie sbrocco, Marlborough, New Zealand, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, Thirsty Girl, Twitter, Villa Maria, Villa Maria Estate, wine, wine tasting
Will you be my Valentine? Please vote for me to go to Chile!
Welcome to February Fun –the Fat Tuesday edition where I’ll share details about this week’s events.
- Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday
- Thu. Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day
- Thu. Feb. 14-18 Valentine n Wine, Ventura County
- Fri. Feb. 15 Twitter Tasting 4-6pm PST Steven Kent Winery
- Sat. Feb. 16 Garagiste South Tasting, Solvang
- Thu. Feb. 21 City of Bordeaux Twitter Wine Party
- Fri. Feb. 22 Dark and Delicious Petite Sirah Tasting, Rock Wall, Alameda
Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday!
Did you know today is Pancake Day? Do you know why? (And what do you pair with pancakes??) According to wikipedia, during Lent, people often give up rich foods including butter, milk and eggs, key ingredients in pancakes. Because so many people would use these ingredients up by making pancakes the day before Lent, it became known as PANCAKE DAY! (What do YOU pair with pancakes and syrup? Riesling? Something sparkling and a bit sweet?)
While I suggested pancakes for dinner to my husband, Chef Tim Kilcoyne at The Sidecar Restaurant is doing it up right with gumbo and oyster po boys and more–with oysters from the Jolly Oyster, of course–and my husband has got his hopes up for that!
Th Feb 14-18 Valentine n Wine, Ventura County: Starting on Valentine’s Day and going all weekend is the third annual Valentine n Wine passport weekend event in Ventura County. Continue reading