Cheers to Nat’l #ZinDay W Nov 19!

Just in time for Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts, it’s National Zinfandel Day on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. 2015. Continue reading

8 Chardonnays from Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Each Tuesday in November at 6pm PST, join me and a dozen or so other wine writers on Twitter for #WineStudio where we will be exploring the “renaissance of Chardonnay” in Oregon’s Willamette Valley located just south and west of Portland.

Not everyone knows that there is more to Oregon wine than the Willamette’s famed and lovely Pinot Noir. And not everyone appreciates Continue reading

Life, Death, Eros on Dia De Los Muertos (plus Freixenet Cava!)

Happy Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos!

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an ofrenda in the middle of a labyrnth

What, you don’t know what Dia de Los Muertos is? You mean you don’t have an altar to remember those who have passed?

Wikipedia explains that Day of the Dead  or in Spanish: Día de Muertos “is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.”

“The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day.[2][3] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.”

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How To Celebrate Int’l Cabernet Day: Cabaret at Burning Man

How will YOU celebrate the 5th annual Cabernet Day the last Thursday in August–this year August 28?

cabernetday2014How about with a Cabaret in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada at Burning Man?

The idea behind Cabernet Day is simple—enjoy any Cabernet based wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet blends) and share your experience on social media sites.

Since I will once again be at Burning Man for Cabernet Day, Jim Morris and I are hosting a Cabernet Day Cabaret Continue reading

Try These $15 Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine, France

Vineyard_in_the_Loire_Valley Getting ready for tomorrow’s Vouvray twitter tasting with Snooth.com (Weds Aug 6 2014 (5:30pm PST; we’ll be trying two dry wines and two sparkling wines  and learning how Chenin Blanc thrives in the region, and the effects of that terroir) made me recall how many great wines from the Loire Valley in France I’ve had the pleasure to meet in the past year or two.

When it comes to white wines of the Loire Valley, people may think of Muscadet which grows along the river closer to the coast or Vouvray’s Chenin Blanc which is further up river.

The Loire River demarcates France’s weather between the northern climate and the south, adding a few degrees of temperature.  Spring is cool with frost while during grape harvest months it may have rain. Hot summers are moderated by the Atlantic breezes.

The Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Touraine region even further up the Loire Valley.  There, under conditions too harsh for other white grapes with high winds and freezing temperatures,  its late bud break and early ripening allows it to flourish in the region’s limestone soils.

Last fall, we gathered at Que Syrah Sue’s and tasted five Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley in France with the TasteLive crew at a twitter event, and what impressed us most about the group was the range of expression in the wines and the great value , with most of them $15 or less.

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Albarino Day Sat Aug 2, 2014: celebrate this cool white for hot days

Wine Predator Gwendolyn ALley at Old Creek Ranch Winery photo by Pineapple Helen

Inspired byIAD2014_Aug2 the Albariño Wine Festival held during the first week of every August in in the small coastal town of Cambados, Spain,  International Albariño Day 2014 is set for Saturday, August 2.

Traditionally grown in Rías Baixas, a coastal wine region in Galicia in northwestern Spain where over 90% of the vineyards are Albariño, this grape produces aromatic, tart, bright, acidic white wines with citrus fruits and white flowers that pair particularly well with seafood but also works with Asian foods that aren’t too spicy.

Here’s a write-up of Paco and Lola which I opened for last year’s Albarino Day.

While grown in great volumes in Spain as well as in Portugal as Alvarinho, Albarino is less commonly found  in other parts of the world but increasing in popularity.

In California, Continue reading