Ventura’s Winter Wine Events



Let it snow! Yes, you may have noticed that thanks to WordPress magic, it is snowing once again during the month of December here on Wine Predator!


And it will be snowing on Main Street in downtown Ventura on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 6:15-8pm as part of the holiday festivities planned for the Street Fair and Winter Wine Walk!  Rain or shine.

Note: Let it snow on your blog! go to settings  — general — snow   !

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It’s All About That Baste — More Zinfandel! 7 Reasons Why

Sorry Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but for me, Turkey Day is All About That Baste –with More Zinfandel!

National Zinfandel Day MAST 2015

While I am not sure yet what exactly I will be sipping this holiday season (or on Sunday when we will cook turkey and ham and do some sampling!), what I have learned from previous tastings with various wines and holiday meals is that Zinfandel can handle well turkey, ham, and prime rib — and many of the sides.

Seven Reasons Why I Love a Good Zinfandel on Zin Day or any day:

  1. A beautiful garnet or ruby jewel color
  2. A nose full of both floral perfumes (cecil bruner roses!) and fruit — much like walking on a country road in summertime that has
  3. Plentiful brambleberry fruit, perhaps plum, rich and jammy on the palate.
  4. While that fruit might tend towards ripe jamminess, it has lots of spice and that fruit is balanced by a firm backbone from acid.
  5. Nice oak provides structure and aging potential
  6. Old vine zinfandels remind me how to grow old with grace — and offer a taste of the terroir.
  7. Zinfandel is an awesome cocktail AND food wine; many pair exceptionally well with both turkey AND ham.

So in anticipation of Zinfandel Day today, I picked up a bottle of  Bedrock Zinfandel, Continue reading

Ferrari Bubbles from Italian Alps

What? There are CARS bubbling out of the Italian Alps? No I don’t mean that kind of Ferrari. I mean bubbles from the sparkling wine grown in the Alps and made in the winery started by Guilio Ferrari over 100 years ago!

On Tuesdays in November from 6-7pm I am participating in Protocol Wine’s Wine Studio Project tasting and education series with Ferrari, a sparkling wine producer from Trento which is located in the Dolomite region of the Alps in the northeastern part of Italy. To learn with us about Ferrari this month, check out the hashtags #winestudio and #FerrariTrento as we taste Ferrari’s award-winning  wines: Brut, Rose, Perlè 2007, and Guilio Ferrari 2001.


Founded in 1902 by Giulo Ferrari, a pioneer in Italian viticulture, Ferrari was the first Italian winemaker and viticulturalist to dedicate his vineyards almost entirely to Chardonnay. In 1952, Giulio Ferrari chose Bruno Lunelli, owner of a wine shop in Trento to take over. Lunelli increased production yet maintained quality while children  FrancoGino and Mauro added Ferrari Rosé, Ferrari Perlé and Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore. A third generation MarcelloMatteoCamilla and Alessandro Lunelli continues the tradition.


As early as 1906, the wines began winning awards:

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2 Central Coast Tempranillo to Tempt you on #TempranilloDay 11/12/15


Are you ready to be tempted by Tempranillo on Tempranillo Day this Thursday November 12, 2015? That’s right,

International Tempranillo Day is the second Thursday in November which means this year it is Thurs. Nov. 12!

While you may not recognize Tempranillo by name, if you’ve ever had wine from Rioja, then you have tasted this spicy, lively varietal. Continue reading

4 Dessert Wines for Chocolate Day 10/28!

Chocolate is a food of the Gods. So thought the Maya about chocolate and I bet you may agree.

You may not, however, know how time consuming the production of chocolate is: it takes 400 or so cocoa beans to make a single pound of chocolate. Those cocoa beans go through an intense process to go from raw bean to roasted and fermented to ground cocoa to a bar with sweeteners that you want to consume; this process  takes  from two to four days to make one bar of chocolate.

Wine also is a food of the Gods and very time consuming, especially if you want a wine to go with CHOCOLATE like a port or port style dessert wine.

For a BIG birthday, I splurged and bought myself some special Ports which you can read about in Ports: Vertical Heaven. In that post I also explain that Port refers to a wine based fortified beverage from Portugal. Back in the day, the British added brandy to wine so it would last longer. According to Graham Port’s blog, the Instituto do Vinho do Douro e Porto (IVDP), the regulating body for the Douro region, provides these guidelines for identifying a true Port wine:

  • Only fortified wine produced in the Douro Demarcated Region which conforms to the technical characteristics defined by the IVDP is Port
  • The maker must be registered and authorised by the IVDP to produce Port
  • The label must be approved by the IVDP
  • The bottle must bear the IVDP issued and numbered seal of guarantee

For Chocolate Day, I splurged and bought some chocolates and opened one bottle of Port and three dessert wines, and we tasted them together. While not all dessert wines are fortified with port, the ones I tasted are.

Oh yeah baby.

The chocolates: Marich chocolate strawberries, blueberries, and salted cashews; Divine dark chocolate with hazelnuts and cranberries. We also combined the chocolates with Lancaster caramels.

The dessert wines: Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto, Kachina Port Sonoma County CA, Cantara X Lodi CA, Silver Fifty Cask Santa Barbara County. Continue reading

Happy #ChampagneDay! A Toast with Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique!


Tomorrow is the sixth annual #ChampagneDay! The 2015 #ChampagneDay is set for Friday, October 23.

What makes Champagne Champagne and not just another bottle of bubbles you wonder?


  1. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, which, on July 5th 2015 was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.
  2. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, making it the only sparkling wine that can be called Champagne.
  3. Champagne is from Champagne, France.

But beyond the fact that CHAMPAGNE only comes from the Champagne region of France and all other bubbles are just sparkling wine and NOT Champagne? This video offers a few clues: Continue reading

Oxnard Steampunk Fest: Anchor Steam, Wine Tasting, Techno Tea + More


Another weekend, another Festival, yes? Everyone is trying to cram in as many fun activities outside while the weather is still nice and warm (and maybe too warm lately!) before the rainy and snowy weather sets in.

This weekend I want to suggest something extra-ordinary: Continue reading